When to Just Shut Up and Do It

I hate it when leaders respond to concerns or resistance with, “Just shut up and do it.” But sometimes NIKE is right, Just do it.

Just shut up and do it:

Discomfort is the path to success, but not all discomfort is the same.

Sometimes discomfort means STOP. You’re uncomfortable with fudging the numbers, for example. In ethical areas discomfort means stop.

In the area of development, discomfort means press forward. The only way to increase capacity is to do things that make you at least a little uncomfortable.

In the area of character and virtue, discomfort means keep going. If you’re uncomfortable taking responsibility, just shut up and do it.

Do stuff you want to avoid.

Fear is defeated by doing what’s uncomfortable. You overcome fear of snakes, for example, by getting progressively closer to snakes. (Exposure Therapy)

The answer to insecurity is action.

Remember past experiences when you stepped into uncertainty and difficulty. Now do that again and again.

Discomfort is the companion of growth and development.

Comfortable with discomfort:

Pursue a win that makes you comfortable with discomfort.

Don’t wake up thinking, “I’m going to make myself miserable today.”

Discomfort isn’t its own reward. But discomfort gives value to progress. Hard-fought wins are more fulfilling than easy wins.

Just shut up and do it:

#1. Appreciate others when you feel under-appreciated.

#2. Serve when disappointed.

#3. Forgive when offended.

The trouble with forgiveness is you don’t need it until it’s hard to give. Usually we don’t forgive, we tolerate and call it forgiveness. Forgiveness is always hard.

#4. Bring it up when avoiding is easier.

#5. Care when others don’t care.

Some leadership behaviors are their own reward. Hard work, for example, is its own reward. Find enjoyment in work, even if you have to shut up and do it.

How has discomfort been an asset on your leadership journey?

What’s the difference between good discomfort and bad discomfort?

More reading:

Chasing Discomfort (A Life of Productivity)

Why Riding the Wave of Discomfort is Good for You (Psychology Today)