For those of you have used the Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA) quality cycle, introduced by Deming, you know this tool as one which helps you manage change or solve problems in a methodical and rigorous way. For those of you who don’t know about this strategy, turn on the left side of your brain and enjoy!
No matter what side of your grey matter you use most often, the real issue is: what do you do when the problem is you?
Most of us have encountered an issue during our careers which led us to the unavoidable decision to take a good look in the mirror at where the buck stops. The real problem is not getting stuck wallowing in self-doubt or listening to other people’s second-hand opinions while trying to sort things out and move forward.
In a recent LinkedIn discussion group, we were asked the question of what’s the best piece of advice you ever received. Mine? A combo of Jimmy Valvano’s “Don’t give up. Don’t ever give up.” And another pearl of wisdom from one of my first corporate mentors: “Think windshield. Not rear-view mirror.” Then there is Dory, from Disney’s Finding Nemo®: “Just keep swimming. Just keep swimming.” (We’ve all had days like that).
But I digress.
The fulcrum for leveraging any change cycle is getting off your mental behind and Doing. We can all think and over-think ourselves. All you end up doing is rationalizing why what we want to do will never work.
All the more reason to Do.
Then there are those days where we look over our resume. All we see are the situations for which we would love to have had “Re-Do’s.” We don’t see our successes. Instead we replay the rear-view mirror stuff incessantly, if not obsessively. Which only serves to keep us from Doing as we become stuck in a rear-view mirror cycle. Not much chance of creating change in ourselves with that type of mindset, is there?
You can’t Be if you don’t decide to Do.
If you are starting your own business, need to change jobs, seek funding for your venture, become traumatized at the thought of pitching to investors or having conversations with potential customers, it’s time to stop placing your own obstacles in your path. There are going to be enough hoops to jump through on your journey.
Why let yourself sabotage YOU? Instead, go Do. I’m only suggesting that you move 1 millimeter outside of your current comfort level. You know whether what I’m recommending seems like light years away or not.
You can’t truly Be if you are constantly hanging yourself up on Do. That’s the only cycle you should keep in mind. Do-Be-Do-Be-Do. It makes your smile, doesn’t it?
I think we’re on to something, together. 😉
Sometimes we are far too harsh on ourselves when all we need to do is provide that nudge that makes all the difference. The rest, then, becomes history and Your Story.
What are you waiting for?
Babette Ten Haken provides technical people and other sellers a solid strategy for how to explain a product, its benefits, and its value in ways that buyers can easily understand and sellers can comfortably present. She gets people together who are often on opposite sides of the table, like engineers and sales people or entrepreneurs and investors. Her company, Sales Aerobics for Engineers®, LLC, works with entrepreneurs, start-ups & investors, as well as small businesses and manufacturers, focusing on revenue-generating and portfolio-building business development strategies. Her book, Do YOU Mean Business? was named 2012 Finalist, Top Sales & Marketing Awards. Sales Aerobics for Engineers, LLC. All rights reserved. ©