April 30, 2020

Embrace imperfect action



"It's always easier to just say no. It's always easier to say 'We can't do it.' 
Because when you say 'We will try to do it,' now you're changing things, and whenever you change, there's opposition. Every time. 
So it's always easier just to stay status quo. It's always easier not to risk, not to try to raise the bar. Because maybe you can't do it, maybe there will be problems. So it's easier just to say no, it's easier to say 'This is all we can do. It's impossible.' 
That's not what the mayor is doing here. The mayor is stepping up and he's stepping up in a big way."
~ New York Governor Andrew Cuomo
California's governor, Gavin Newsom, was the first to issue stay at home orders when the numbers of positive COVID-19 tests began to rise. Newsom also has partnered with the Federal Emergency Management Agency to launch a one-of-a-kind program that will use local restaurants to prepare and deliver free food for eligible seniors.

Not everyone is happy with Newsom's decisions, like today's decision to shut down state and local beaches in Orange County because of large crowds over the past weekend and high numbers of coronavirus cases and hospitalizations.

But Newsom is not trying to please everyone. He's taking actions, backed by research, that he believes to be the best actions for Californians. Regarding the beaches, he said, "I hope it’s just a very short-term adjustment."

California and other states are modeling—on a daily basis—what imperfect action looks like, in the face of a challenge none of our leaders has experienced before.

As Governor Cuomo said in his address on April 30 (quoted above), "It's always easier not to risk, not to try to raise the bar." He points out that there will be opposition, and that it's easier to do nothing than to possibly create more problems.

What would you rather see in your leaders?

Would you rather have a leader that sits back out of fear of criticism, fear of making mistakes, or fear of not getting reelected?

Or would you rather have a leader who tests solutions to the best of their ability, gathering as much data as possible in order to make informed decisions, and then fixes mistakes as they go along?

Our leaders are under tremendous strain and pressure right now, and I would not want to be in any of their shoes.

The best leaders are striving to serve. They're not focusing on fears of failure, they're focusing on getting the needs of their people met, however they can.

Every leader has a choice right now: Take no action, or take imperfect action. That's it.

Which leader are you? Striving for perfection, focusing on your own potential failures, or striving to serve your people?




I'd love to help you take imperfect action on your next presentation! If you struggle with inaction due to perfectionist tendencies, always waiting to get ready... to get ready... take a look at my 8 Steps to Ditching Perfection and Creating Connection workshop, coming up on May 7!



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