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"Ta Da" - The Importance of Imperfect Action

Any of you regular thrive! blog readers may have noticed last week’s subject line was nothing less than horrible! At least, that is what I, Susan, thought when I looked at my inbox and saw:

Subject: Every Leader Needs to Should Try Working With a Horse! (Certainly, there is something wrong with this title!)

I had a moment when I wanted to send out an edited redo. That passed quickly when I realized just how annoying that would be for most of you. Still, my mistake seemed glaring, and rattled my shame reaction. I wanted run, hide, and blame…who, CrisMarie? Hmm, how well would that go over?!

However, instead of crumbling to the ground, I found myself reflecting on a recent, wonderful marketing program, called Big Shift, that I attended with fellow entrepreneurs. Our leader, Bill Barren, was telling us the importance of imperfect action and “TA-DA’s!” when it comes to marketing and growing our business.

What is a “TA-DA!”?

It’s when you make a BIG mistake. You can run, hide, blame, or instead, stand forth and take a bow! “TA-DA!”

Well, we all know, business and life are both filled with lots of “TA-DA!” moments. If not, we are probably not fully engaged! Mistakes are part of moving forward and doing something new.

It was Colin Powell, who said the sweet spot for action lies somewhere between having 40% and 70% of the needed information. To take action with less than 40% of the information is being a cowboy, and waiting until you have over 70% is turning into analysis paralysis. “Once the information is in the 40% to 70% range, go with your gut.”

Yes, you will make mistakes, like I did, but taking no action can be worse than imperfect action when it comes to leadership, business or life.

The Same is True in Conflict or Communication

We often hear team members say, “I didn’t say anything, because I didn’t want to cause a problem,” or “I didn’t ask, because I already knew what he would say, and we’d just get into another stand off.”

These are not uncommon responses. However, we strongly believe great teams will Dare to Disagree! (An earlier blog.)

In being willing to disagree, or step into a potentially difficult conversation, you need to have the courage to make a mistake.

It may be even more important to take imperfect action and say something! Such as:

  • “Ouch!”

  • “I disagree.”

  • “That isn’t going to work for me.”

  • “I’m angry and feeling defensive, but I have to say something.”

These are all potentially imperfect actions in terms of communication. Let’s just say, these imperfect choices were not in the script given to you at your last communications workshop, where the role-plays seemed so easy!

Don’t get me wrong, training can help your communication skills, but only real-time practice, and the willingness to engage, and make mistakes will result in improvement.

Remember, if you fall down, meaning fail, get rejected, or make a mistake, don’t run, don’t hide, and don’t blame!

No, stand up proudly, and take your bow: “TA-DA!”

You may be surprised what can happen next.

Don’t wait to be perfect! Take imperfect action, and when it works, celebrate, and when it doesn’t, take a bow!


CrisMarie Campbell and Susan Clarke

Coaches, Business Consultants, Speakers and Authors of The Beauty of Conflict

CrisMarie and Susan work leaders and teams, couples in business, and professional women.

They help turnaround dysfunctional teams into high performing, cohesive teams who trust each other, deal with differences directly, and have clarity and alignment on their business strategy so they create great results.

Check out their website: Connect with CrisMarie and Susan on LinkedIn. Watch their TEDx Talk: Conflict – Use It, Don’t Defuse It! Find your copy of The Beauty of Conflict: Harnessing Your Team's Competitive Advantage here.

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