Wednesday, October 29, 2003

What's Your Trap?

Are you the sort who looks before you leap or do you get stuck, still wanting to know more before you're willing to take a step?

Either trait is pretty common, especially with tech folks. If you're not sure which you are, take a look around you at the people who drive you most nuts... "She never thinks these things through - she just blows right through with her big ideas, expecting everyone else to pick up the pieces when they don't go right!"... "He couldn't make a move to save his life!"

If the thought under your breath is, "Good thing I'm not like that!" then you probably struggle with the opposite issue. If you simply cringe when you see what others do wrong, then it's probably a sympathy cringe, seeing your own behavior in someone else.

Great, so you know what your problem is - okay, bigshot, NOW what?

The way I figure it, every weakness is just a strength taken too far. Back off a bit and you'll be in just the right place.

If you're impulsive, that passion can do a lot for you. All that's needed is to harness it and add in some critical thinking before launching. Invite someone whose judgment you trust to take a look at your idea and offer other viewpoints. If there's criticism, don't let it get you down; instead, re-work your proposal to address the issues raised.

If you suffer from analysis paralysis, figure out even one small step that will take you in the direction you want to go. You can always adjust later; that one step just gets you moving and helps break the logjam of activity. After that one step, think of one more and then another until you've got some momentum built up. Continue to analyze as you go along but forget about perfection. It's not gonna happen!

Even the yellow brick road wandered around and around a bit before taking off toward the Emerald City. That's okay. When the pathway does straighten out, that's when you want to check to be sure it's headed the direction you want, making whatever adjustments you think are necessary then.

Where do you get hung up - on the thinking part or the doing part? Send me an email at and give me your best "yeah, but".

What is one thing you could do to improve the linkage between thinking and acting?