Bias to Action

June 26, 2017

One thing that has quickly become apparent to me in my short time as a business owner is the paramount importance of making decisions and taking action.

For many of us, this runs counter to our nature and our training. As dentists and orthodontists we have been rewarded in our educational careers for careful and meticulous work. We know how to research a problem and to consider every angle and possible objection. We like to be “right” and hate to admit to our patients, our team and especially ourselves that we were wrong.

However, in the real world, decisions need to be made in situations where we have incomplete information or where there not enough time to do an exhaustive analysis. For some, this can be an extremely uncomfortable feeling. Even more dangerous are situations where there is no immediate pressure for you to act, but that false sense of time and space leaves you unprepared for changes in the industry or your marketplace and keeps you from achieving your goals.

I would encourage you to remember that in your clinical practice and your business, you need to foster a bias towards action. Taking action and setting your plan in motion is the most important part of achieving your goals. No amount of preparation, research, or asking your colleagues for advice will get you closer to where you want to be. Many of us hide out in the exploration phase, procrastinating and suffering from paralysis by analysis.

An author and business coach I hope to get on the podcast in the future is writing a book called: Bad plans carried out violently: How real people lead and succeed in the real world. I love that title and can’t wait for the book. The beauty of putting your plan into motion is that you can always adjust or pivot as you go along. Even if you fail, you have learned something and can start again. The key is to begin. Take the first step. Swing the bat. Be a person of action.

I’m not advocating for you to be recklessness or carelessness. Be thoughtful and wise in your approach to decision making. Don’t start dozens of projects and leave them unfinished, which is just another version of indecisiveness.

I have friends who joke that their mantra is “ready, fire, aim.” They encourage this attitude because they recognize that their biggest threat is inaction. They don’t mind failing occasionally if the overall trend is up and if they are moving closer to their goals. My challenge for you this week is to pick one project or decision you have been wavering on, and take action. Let me know how it goes.

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