Imperfect Action

Laws of Leadership – I am going to take some time discussing the various laws of leadership that I have come to believe in. Here’s the first: Take Imperfect Action.

Frozen by Fear and Uncertainty

So many leaders are frozen by fear and uncertainty. Which is a natural feeling when we’re thrust into a new situation. We’re often scared because we’re uncertain. And we’re uncertain because we’ve never succeeded in a particular role before. We often doubt our own ability. We doubt how those around will respond. We doubt so many things because we are surrounded with unknowns.

I recall one of my first leadership experiences when I was with Target. I recall hiding behind a computer burying myself in numbers and statistics. I was lying to myself that I was, at that moment, being a good leader. I wasn’t. My team didn’t need me to learn more numbers. They needed me to be out on the sales floor working alongside them and providing direction and leadership. But I was terrified. Not because I was scared of leading – I had done that before. I was terrified because I really didn’t know what I was supposed to be doing. So I did what felt safe. I stayed at the computer.

Just Do Something

This is where the Law of Imperfect Action comes up. Just jump in. DO SOMETHING! It’s okay to tell your team that you’re not exactly sure how this is supposed to look. But together you’re going to figure it out. In fact, most of the time they will respect you for it. Don’t worry about them not respecting you because you’re supposed to know this or that. They don’t respect you then anyways – you’re new and haven’t earned it. If you’re worthy of the position then you will earn their respect over time.

The worst thing a leader can do is to become frozen by fear and uncertainty. Just jump, start making decisions and making things happen. When something goes wrong – it’s okay. Just own it publicly. Use it as an opportunity to learn and keep moving forward. You’re ability to own your decisions, be accountable to your team and being out in the front leading will win your team over. And most importantly, it’s the best thing for the business in the long run.


Thanks so much to our friends at the Sarasota Outdoor Kitchen Company for sponsoring this post!

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