As a consultant and advisor to organizations and individuals, the most challenging aspect of the role is getting the client to act.  Action is about change, so action can be intimidating, whether leading an organization, executing a project, or just getting started on the path to any thing “new”.

Comfortable Where We Are

Getting started on the things we know, like, and are comfortable doing is usually easier than taking on those things that we aren’t comfortable with or have never done.  If we are in sales, we really don’t mind making that next sales call.  If we are a researcher and we need to do sales, then picking up the phone to make a sales call can be intimidating.  It can be the last thing we want to do, even if we need to do it to survive.

If we are building an organization, we might really enjoy planning and envisioning getting things going, but when it comes down to executing the details – well, we may be even better at finding other things to do and leaving execution up to someone else.  That’s fine if there IS someone else to leave it to, AND that person isn’t already overloaded, AND it isn’t going to slow things down if you aren’t involved in the process.

The Role of Doing

Abdicating involvement or procrastinating on priorities because you aren’t comfortable with the role you need to play is understandable.  It is not, however, acceptable when you are a critical resource in an organization, serving in a leadership role, and it is part of your job description!

Suppose you are saying or thinking things such as “Well, I don’t want to do the work.”  Or “The work’s too hard.”  Or “That’s beyond my experience and level of expertise or knowledge.”  Then it is time to examine the role you are playing and whether you are in the right role or if you need additional resources to support your role.  Big news flash!  If you have been hired to perform a role in the organization which requires you to do the work – let’s say it includes understanding compliance or finance or accounting – and you don’t want to put in the effort it requires to ACT in that role as a fully informed and capable employee, then there is a significant problem for you and your organization. Something may be beyond your experience and knowledge at a point in time and bringing in outside resources to fill the gap in knowledge and experience is the interim step, while you are learning and gaining the knowledge to fill the role!

Every day is about change, AND everyone is uncomfortable taking action and undergoing change at some point.  We do recognize that no two days are the same and every day brings change – whether we acknowledge it or not.  Action is about being proactive with change – creating, guiding, leading it.

In the Job Description – Getting Things Done!

As organizations, the people we select to serve as leaders and managers, whether on a permanent basis or in interim roles, must be willing to act to the full capacity of their capabilities and to the full extent of the roles they are occupying.  The individuals serving in leadership roles determine the course of our organizations.  The decisions they make and the tasks they execute (or don’t execute) can have significant impact on the longevity of our organizations.  Hiring qualified people with a willingness to go the extra mile to execute their roles and to make sure the organization fulfills its obligations is a facet of starting and running an organization which cannot be overlooked or undervalued.  When organizations have leaders and managers who are not committed to compliance, oversight, and the basics of sound financial and business practices, then the lack of “integrity” will come to light at inopportune times and places – during audits, funding due diligence processes, and other critical points in the business life cycle.

The starting point of successful organizations is action.  Proper action requires a willingness to understand the tasks to be accomplished, the role to be played, and above all the commitment to the effort required to fulfill the responsibility an individual accepts as a leader in an organization.

Copyright ©2007 Lea A. Strickland, F.O.C.U.S. Resource, Inc.

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