Overcoming the 6 Mistakes of Inaction


Smart mistakes happen when you take action, fail, learn, and adapt. Dumb mistakes happen when you don’t try at all.

Weak leaders over-prepare and under-execute.

6 Mistakes of inaction:

  1. Isolating.
  2. Not declaring what you want in simple, observable behaviors with tangible results.
  3. Withholding feedback.
  4. Neglecting the emotional state of the team.
  5. Ignoring the passions of talented team members.
  6. Overlooking self-development.

Overcoming dumb mistakes:

The cure for dumb mistakes is
demanding results from yourself and others.

  1. Define and declare expectations. If it can’t be seen it’s not a result. Say what you want!
  2. Evaluate progress frequently and brutally. Mediocrity and apathy prevail until someone courageously calls it out.
  3. Recalibrate and begin again. The path to success begins with beginning again.

15 questions that overcome dumb mistakes:

  1. What observable results are we shooting to achieve? Define results with others, not in isolation.
  2. Who can best deliver the results we want?
  3. What strategies and methods best deliver results?
  4. What does accountability look like? Real accountability is voluntary, never coerced.
  5. What will be different when we achieve the results we want?
  6. How will results be measured?
  7. When should results be observed?
  8. How far have we come?
  9. How far do we need to go this week, month, or quarter?
  10. Who should we honor, praise, or reward?
  11. How can the performance of top performers be improved?
  12. Where can under-performers be developed or reassigned?
  13. What role does leadership play in delivering results?
  14. What skills and behaviors best take us where we want to go?
  15. What’s important now?

Wisdom is the result of taking action, learning, and adapting. But, words without action make you dumb. Pull the trigger more. 70% to 80% ready is ready enough.

Warning: High profile initiatives require greater preparation and certainty.

Facebook fans fill in: “The biggest mistakes leaders make include _____.”

What are the mistakes of neglect and inaction?

How can leaders overcome the problem of “dumb” mistakes?

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