You want to be known as an action-oriented individual; someone who has a personal brand for getting things done.
So you better get on with it and do something, right?
Not necessarily; never just simply act.
I am an absolute zealot about taking action rather than pontificating about possibilities; about trying things rather than studying and analyzing potential alternatives; about executing rather than planning.
But I don’t believe in taking any action without ensuring that it is the right thing for me personally and that it has the maximum likelihood of success; it must be planned action.
Unharnessed spontaneous action may make you feel good at the time; that you are living a take action brand, but it will not likely create the final outcome you want — Roy, act with a purpose
So before you throw yourself at creating your “do it” brand and blindly act, practice these fundamentals that worked for me:
1. Build a Formal Context for Your Actions
You need to avoid uncontrolled behavior with no predictable outcome — you need a broader perspective to govern what you do.
Your context could be your career game plan; the specific goals you have with respect to the job opportunities you covet. If you were aspiring to have a higher job in marketing, for example, focus your actions on the things that have a profound marketing outcome for the organization.
Your personal set of values (teamwork, innovation, and growth for example) could also inform the actions you take and of course, the priorities the organization has defined in its strategic game plan are also useful guideposts to follow.
Whatever you choose as your context, use it dutifully as the boundary for what you do versus what you don’t do.
2. Look for Opportunities to Go Beyond and Above What Is Expected
Plan to deliver more value from your actions — “What more could I do from my actions?” should be your guideline.
Onlookers will be not only impressed with your strong bias to act, but they will also be surprised by the fact you added extras rather than simply meeting the minimum of what people expect.
The surprise factor is exceedingly important because people will remember what delights them and they will remember YOU.
Action – Plus: act and do more…
3. Act With a Twist
Leave your fingerprints and personality on your action; make it unmistakably yours — Roy indelibly etched
Action without leaving your personal mark is a wasted chance to leave a lasting impression. If your actions mirror crowd behavior, no one will notice you as being special and no memory will be created.
The trick I use is to ask myself the question “How can I do this differently?” as the focus for my efforts and also remind people of my different approach along the way.
4. Pause, Then Act
Be disciplined about taking action. Before moving, take a deep breath to ensure your action is grounded with a personal sense of purpose so it will have the highest probability of making a positive impact.
Use the pause as a necessary element of the acting process. Be sure your action is consistent with your personal context; once you commit to act it’s difficult to change your course.
So use the pause wisely.
Never ask yourself “How did someone else do it?”
Using an action template of another person robs you of the originality needed to be remarkable and stand out from everyone else around you.
Copying what others do reinforces that you are not unique but rather a member of the crowd of commoners, so avoid the temptation to look at best practices as your guide.
Benchmarking others is the antithesis of being special so avoid it at all costs.
5. Learn and Act on the Run
Track the results of your action; learn from what you’ve done and been prepared to act again if things are not going the way you originally intended.
Here’s my learning on the run process:
- Define the top 3 – 5 critical performance indicators to measure.
- Track results.
- Focus on a performance that is underachieving.
- Learn what caused the shortfall in results.
- Develop an action plan to close the gap.
- Tweak the plan and move forward.
- Keep your feet moving!
Establishing your brand as someone who is driven to act and gets things done doesn’t happen through serendipity and knee jerk responses.
It happens through a well thought out plan and a strong sense of purpose.