Leadership development happens through a never-ending series of daily learnings. And let me tell you… the school of leadership is never out. The leadership lesson today is all about the Cost of Inaction or COI.
I am often with young leaders that are stressing out over some issue that was caused by lack of execution. When they pause for air, I will ask them: “When is the best time to plant a tree?” Often I get weird looks, and I can just imagine they are thinking: “What the hell has that got to do with my problem?” They might even throw in some random thoughts about me being some kind of Yoda clone (I am the same height).
Eventually, after enough probing from me, they will tell that the best time to plant a tree was several years in the past. “Correct!” I will say. Next, I will ask; “When is the second-best time to plant a tree?” Hopefully, they will instantly reply: “Today.” “Correct again!”
When it comes to being a leader that is known for getting things done, the best time to get things done was yesterday. The second-best time to get things done is today. The cost of inaction (COI) is the difference between getting things done yesterday and today.
Understanding the COI is critical to getting things done because there is almost always a cost to the organization in the form of lost revenue, productivity, customer satisfaction or additional costs. Preventing that loss or losses, is what great leaders specialize in.
Leaders that develop the reputation for getting things done are now and will always be in hot demand. The world is moving at a fast pace, and to keep up, top leaders need to as well. Dwelling on the past will not move you and your team forward, however learning from the past and taking action today, will.
Plant trees today. Do not wait until tomorrow.
Robert Murray is a Vancouver, BC based Business Strategy Consultant, partner at Incrementa Consulting Inc., #1 Best Selling Author, and International Keynote Speaker. For further advice, insight and inspiration on how to unlock your inner leader, follow Robert on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook.
The audio version of Bob’s #1 best seller It’s Already Inside is now available on Audible.COI, Cost of Inaction, It's Already Inside, Leader, Leadership, Leadership Development, Life Lessons, Robert Murray, Robert S. Murray, Strategic Planning