“Keep on going, and the chances are that you will stumble on something, perhaps when you are least expecting it. I have never heard of anyone ever stumbling on something sitting down.” – Charles F. Kettering
The last couple of posts in this space (here and here) were about getting unstuck. The idea was about not allowing ourselves to get to set on doing things that have worked in the past just because they worked in the past. Or, not allowing ourselves to relive our past mistakes over and over without using whatever we learned from those mistakes to move forward.
This week I had a chance to sit down with a leader who was dealing with something a little bit different. She was embracing the idea that her business needed to change, and she was attempting to take what she’d learned from past situations and apply it to her current challenge. But she was still stuck.
She was stuck because despite having new ideas and wanting to apply new knowledge, she couldn’t make herself take a leap forward until she thought everything was ready. She hadn’t figured out the answer to every possible question that might arise, and she didn’t want to go forward until she had. She was ready to act when the moment was perfect. Of course, that moment never comes.
When we make change or try something new or apply lessons from the past, we want everything to go well. We don’t want to make any mistakes, and we want everything to work out the way we want it to. Which sounds great, except we will always be making mistakes, and things rarely work out exactly the way we want them to. So we stay stuck, and we miss whatever chance we had to do something great.
A leader I’ve worked with in the past recently found this out the hard way. He spent more than a year tweaking a new idea, trying to get it just right. Finally, he thought it was good enough to roll it out to the public. Unfortunately, by that time his biggest competitor was already on their fourth version of the same product, the market had changed, and what he was rolling out was essentially obsolete.
Don’t get stuck waiting for perfection. There is no perfect time to do something. Don’t be rash, but don’t wait around. The best time to take the leap is sooner rather than later, so get going.