Yoda is wise. “Do, or do not do. There is no try.” The real essence of Yoda’s words is to take action. Don’t be a bystander to your own destiny. But there are lots of reasons why people don’t just do it already. Sometimes, that’s a good thing. A cautious approach can pay dividends later. But inaction born of indecision or laziness? That can cripple a company. And Yoda wouldn’t stand for it.
Business coach Andy Bailey is wise, too, and he doesn’t like excuses. After a successful career as an entrepreneur, Bailey founded Petra Coach to encourage other business leaders live Yoda’s advice. He’s even written a book on excuses and remedies.
Here’s some of Bailey’s advice on how you can eliminate the attitude of “try” in your company:
1. Don’t Make Excuses – Make Progress
Business leaders don’t have time for excuses. They are a waste of effort and energy. Instead, make accountability a priority. Try not to give or seek specific instructions, but rather focus on general guidance and advice. That way, each person will seek efficiency, and perhaps will strike upon a great idea. Create good habits and practice them always. Finish what you begin. You can do it, but you have to be willing to work for it.
2. Be Appreciative
Be polite and appreciative. This attitude has to begin from the top. Business leaders must be willing to sacrifice and play as an equal member of the team. When employees see this ethic displayed in their leaders, they will be more willing to take on that same responsibility. And when leaders see their people adopting this attitude, they should say thank you! Always look for opportunities to recognize hard work and extra effort.
3. Pre-Fill Needs
Planning is a key responsibility of any business leader. Have planning sessions with your team and with your customers. Figure out how you can anticipate needs and pre-fill them. When you think through what is coming, you can plan for all contingencies, and always be ready to deliver the best for your client. Then when the time comes, you can focus on strategy and next steps instead of putting out fires. Act smarter now, so you don’t have to react too aggressively later.
4. Be Curious
A business leader always asks why, because he knows he never has all the answers. Don’t accept things simply because they’ve always been done that way. Look for ways you and your team can revitalize processes and inject new energy into their work. Seek out these learning experiences and never be satisfied.
5. Seize the Experience
Everything is an experience. Each interaction with a customer, every failed sale, all new products – each an every one of them is an opportunity. Whether a good experience or bad, there is always something to learn. The focus here is on action. DO it, and then LEARN from it. Waste no opportunities to get better.