Be Action Oriented
Translation of thoughts into action is the only way to success.
Opening Case Study:
An Action-oriented Leader: Narayana Murthy
Taking timely action is an essential trait of Narayana Murthy, who founded the Indian software giant Infosys with just US$250 in 1981. Nearly three decades later, as Chairman of the US$4b company, Murthy still believes in taking action, and encourages entrepreneurs to do the same. Nagavara Ramarao Narayana Murthy, more popularly known as Narayana Murthy, is the co-founder of Infosys, a multinational corporation that provides services pertaining to technology, engineering, consulting and outsourcing. Narayana Murthy was not born with a silver spoon in his mouth; in fact, he had to work extremely hard to reach the top. He was born on August 20, 1946, in Mysore, Karnataka. He came from a poor but an educated family. From his childhood days, Narayana Murthy was academically brilliant. He was passionate about Mathematics and Physics and always had the thirst and the desire to gain more knowledge in these fields. Hence, he pursued a Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Mysore and later, received his Master’s degree from the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur. Although Narayana Murthy was born into a poor family, his dreams were huge. From a young age, he dreamt of starting his own business venture. Narayana Murthy began his career as a chief systems programmer at IIM Ahmedabad. He then started a company called Softronics, which failed after 1.5 years of its inception. Despite the failures he encountered at an early age, he did not give up his dream of being an entrepreneur. He learnt from his previous mistakes and decided to start afresh in 1981. That year, he, together with six software professionals, put together Rs 10,000 to create a company called Infosys. From the beginning, the team kept the interests of the company ahead of their own interest. And each of the team members brought complementary strengths to the company. Today, Narayana Murthy is listed as one of the greatest entrepreneurs of all time, alongside Steve Jobs and Bill Gates. In 2000, he was awarded Padma Shri by the Government of India for his significant contribution to the country’s IT sector and economy. In 2008, he was awarded Padma Vibhushan, India’s second highest civilian award.
People at the top of every profession have an innate quality of getting things done. This ability surpasses intelligence, talent, and connections in determining the size of your salary and the speed of your advancement.
Despite this simple fact, there is a perpetual shortage of people who excel at getting results. The action habit — the habit of putting ideas into action now — is essential to getting things done.
Most successful entrepreneurs tend not to spend too much time when making business decisions. At every instance, their experience has taught them that getting results comes from actually taking action and not by looking over the possibilities. In fact spending too much time reflecting upon their decisions can actually ‘stop’ them from taking action at all and thereby experiencing any success!
Here are 3 reasons why getting ‘too’ caught up in trying to make a decision can severely limit your path to success.
Doubt Creeps in
The more time you spend into making business decisions the more
likely you will develop reasons why you should NOT make that choice. At this junction
the pace is set to slow motion! Finally if you take a decision and act upon the
thought plan, it may still not deliver results as could have been if you acted
more quickly. This is particularly true in the world of commerce where the
business is done at the speed of thoughts.
Although it is natural to keep into account the ‘what if’s’, it introduces the imaginary problems or perceived barriers. Now your cautious consideration has developed into escaping problematic situations which apparently begins to dampen your zeal or even eagerness for taking action. Being exceedingly logical involves looking at something from every angle, good or bad, and this will definitely slow down your ability for making business decisions.
Another factor that hampers taking action is ‘analysis paralysis’ which is not just a catchy phrase but a term that can have a negative blow on your life. Taking too much time to deliberate can easily ‘paralyze’ you with a lot of doubt, real or imagined thereby thwarting you from taking action at all! You have now completely skipped out on any potential the opportunity you were considering may have had. Even worse you are ‘deceiving’ yourself of the experience and lessons you would have profited from if you had chosen to get involved as opposed to remaining an onlooker!
Always keep in mind, life is NOT an onlooker sport and to get something out of it you must chip in!
Sitting on the sidelines doesn’t yield results. There is a reason many successful entrepreneurs got to where they are. Careful consideration is needed to make business decisions, but too much thought can restrict any action from being taken. The fear of unknown is natural to cause hesitation but as an entrepreneur this is something you must learn to overcome! Results are achieved by taking action and not just simply thinking about it! Overanalyzing things eliminate the chances of achieving success by taking action. This tends to set up doubt and also steal valuable time that could be put to better use! Always remember, no guts no glory!
Here are 10 ways you can grow the action habit:
- Set aside time to Think and Plan:
Action oriented and successful entrepreneurs set aside time to reflect upon their goals and dreams, to graph their next steps and ways around potential obstacles and of course to set priorities in all these goals, dreams and next steps. The benefit of all this thinking, planning and priority setting is that, it equips them to focus on taking action on the key tasks and execute large chucks of work far earlier than the people that spend that same amount of thinking, planning and action time on activities that do not take them closer to their goals – assuming that those people even know what their goals are.
- Stay Alert & Aware
True entrepreneurs keep a keen eye out for some of the interrelated ways that people and circumstances can be leveraged to help you achieve your wants, dreams and desires even faster. Helping other people along the way is one of the fastest ways to get what you want. So while you are in ‘the zone’ use that sharp state of creativity and mental precision to spot ways you can help others reach their dreams.
- Keep your Action Plan in Writing
The action plan includes a list of the action steps (tactics) listed in chronological order. Those steps, taken together, accomplish the intended strategy. Clearly written action steps are essential. You need to know and agree upon exactly what is to be accomplished. Writing down your goals turns them into a plan, not a dream. An effective action plan should give you a concrete timetable and set of clearly defined steps to help you to reach your objective, rather than aimlessly wondering what to do next.
- List the resources you will be needing
Naturally, you’re going to employ resources to accomplish each of your action steps. Those resources include financial, facilities and equipment, people and information. Also you’ll need to quantify the specific resources required to complete each of those action steps. And the earlier you quantify those resources, the better job you’ll later do in their allocation.
- Allocate the resources
Resource allocation is the process of determining the best way to use available assets or resources for the completion of a given action plan. Companies attempt to allocate resources in a manner that helps to minimize costs while maximizing profits, typically by using strategic planning methods to structure the operation, establish operational guidelines, and implement policies and procedures that move the business toward the achievement of its goals.
- Find out the right people who need to be involved in action-plan
The greatest resource in any organization is its people. It is important to align the right people for the right task in carrying out the action plan. Having the right people in the right position makes the difference between business success and failure.
- Don’t wait until conditions are perfect. Implement your plan – If you wait for everything to get perfect, you will never be able to implement your plan. At every stage there would be something that isn’t quite right. May be the timing seems difficult or the market is down, or there’s too much competition. In the real world of business there is no perfect time to start. You have to take action and deal with problems as they arise. The best time to start was last year. The second best time is right now.
- Periodically Review your Plan
You should periodically check that agreed actions are being undertaken, for example, that meetings are being held, or that there is evidence that certain activities have taken place. It is important to make a record of this progress against your action plan.
- Take Corrective Action
Taking corrective action is one of the essential activities of the control process. If the process is measured and the results don’t meet company standards, then the process needs to be altered so that it can meet organizational goals
- Live in the present
Regretting over the past failures or worrying about the future results will weaken your focus. Living in the present moment enhances your ability to work. Don’t worry about what you should have done last week or what you might be able to do tomorrow. The only time you can affect is the present. If you speculate too much about the past or the future you won’t get anything done. Tomorrow or next week frequently turns into never.
It takes courage to take action without instructions from the person in charge. Perhaps that’s why initiative is a rare quality that’s coveted by managers and executives everywhere. Seize the initiative. When you have a good idea, start implementing it without being told. Once people see you’re serious about getting things done they’ll want to join in. The people at the top don’t have anyone telling them what to do. If you want to join them, you should get used to acting independently.
Entrepreneurs and Self-made millionaires think cautiously and they make decisions swiftly. Their secret is ‘self-discipline.’ Entrepreneurs are quick to take action and to carry out the decisions they have made. Moving fast means getting quick feedback from their actions. If they find they’ve made a mistake, they self-correct and are not afraid to try something else. Entrepreneurs embrace change, innovation and new opportunities.
Trying is the secret of winning. Successful entrepreneurs always welcome a new idea, they are decisive and they try far more things than the common person. They are not scared of failure and recognize the law of probabilities. Successful entrepreneurs understand, ‘The Law Of Averages’, they understand if you try far more different ways to be successful, the odds are that you will find the right way for you at the right time.
Luck happens when preparation meets opportunity. To be in the right place at the right time, is not just luck. It is action in motion. There are innumerable ways to make a million dollars! Entrepreneurs know this and are always prepared to try more ways than unsuccessful people are.
Unsuccessful people are usually very uncertain. What differentiates them from successful entrepreneurs is that they don’t have the character or the willpower to make firm decisions. They are afraid of making mistakes, they are afraid of failure so therefore they usually miss out on the pleasures of success. As a consequence of not being prepared to take action, they drift through life never happy, never fulfilled, never particularly successful.
Being scared of failure is the chief reason they never become super wealthy or even accomplish financial independence. They finish up settling for far less than is truly possible for them. The lesson to learn here is to become decisive and action-oriented.
Once you learn this art, your entire life will shift into a higher gear. You will get far more done in a day than the average person ever will. You will observe that you are moving ahead far faster than the people around you. It is like you actually enter into a higher source of energy, enthusiasm, and motivation that fills you full of joy and exhilaration. It feels your enthusiasm is on Fire. This enthusiasm and renewed energy will drive you forward even faster toward your goals.
Now is the correct time. Make the decision to be a successful Entrepreneur. Make the decision to become a self made millionaire. Ask yourself the following question and be prepared to answer it honestly and make the decision to ‘take action’.
“What one action, if I did it immediately, could have the greatest positive impact on my results?” Only you have the answer to this question. Whatever your answer is to this question take action NOW! ‘Just Do It’!
Think Clearly & Take Action.