Taking Action: Big or Small, Just Start

Just like the flywheel, it’s not one action or “push” that sets your goal in motion. The summation of all your actions causes a catalytic effect that builds momentum.

Written by:

Kyle Hermans

CEO & Co-Founder
action

How to turn your mission into a reality by taking incremental actions

If you’ve figured out your purpose and mission, and you’ve revved up your energy to courage your future, now what? (If you haven’t, follow each link to solidify your direction.)

You’re ready for the fun (and sometimes petrifying) part: Action!

Flywheel of action: Catalytic effect

In his best-selling books, “Good to Great” and “Turning the Flywheel”, author (and one of Forbes’ named “Greatest Living Business Minds,”) Jim Collins points out that it takes lots of pushes on a massive flywheel before it will start to move and roll on its own accord. There isn’t one action or “push” that made the flywheel’s momentum change from laborious pushing to rolling independently.

Just like the flywheel, it’s not one action or “push” that sets your goal in motion.
The summation of all your actions causes a catalytic effect that builds momentum.

Actions feed more actions

To get your momentum started, take a look at your purpose and mission, and decide:
What is the size of action you want to take, and in what realm?

Actions can be small in scale (requesting a connection on LinkedIn for a possible project partner) to large in scale (purchasing a piece of property for your business.) They all matter.

In our work with leadership teams in companies with bold missions worldwide, we’ve developed this guide to help you articulate what your next steps should be.

Look at the categories below and try on what a small win or action could be in each area and what a big one would be.

In the professional aspect of life, look at the areas of leadership, communication, skills and system.

Write your actions as if they’ve already come to pass and you’ve achieved them, becoming “wins.”

action

Let’s put real-life examples to it.

Mission
Create a courageous culture and a company that’s considered a “best place to work.”

Small Win (1% Improvement)
Create a meeting kick-off ritual to set a positive, productive tone. We often start meetings by asking what people’s last action of courage was. Acknowledging our team’s courage inspires them to take on more courageous action.

Mission
Be the worldwide champion of courage and activate a billion moments of courage.

Big Win (10X Exponential Outcome)
Connect with a leading research team at a highly esteemed university to launch the world’s biggest study on courage.

In the personal realm, here is a diagram and a couple of examples.

action

Mission
Overcome my personal fears and blocks to help me level up in life.

Small Win (1% Improvement)
Show up to your first self-improvement class or coaching call and not the happy hour your best friend from high school invited you to.

Big Win (10X Exponential Outcome)
Complete a full coaching certification.

Antifragile actions

If you feel overwhelmed by your action plan, an easy way to strategize actions is to take small, tactical, practical, incremental moves to strengthen the core of your mission.

And if your action plan is on the “too safe/small” side, think of a couple of large steps you can take that may make you uncomfortable but would absolutely get you to your mission. We call this “Going Viking”.

Dealing with obstacles on your flywheel

What happens when your flywheel hits an unforeseen obstacle?

I’ve heard Grammy-winning singer/songwriter Ed Sheeran talk about songwriting being like “plumbing, because it has an element of “clearing out the pipes.”
After connecting your “pipes” (your purpose and mission), you turn on the water for action and guess what – a bunch of dirty water, air pockets, and mud comes out first.

That debris represents early struggles– first falls and failed attempts. This could make you question if you have the right mission, or what it takes, because you’re not hitting perfection yet.

But in fact, you have to get the gunk out to make space for the clear water (your mission) to come through.

Every step you take, you have to face a new obstacle. That obstacle could stop your flywheel in its tracks or you can reframe it as facing a devil to get to the next level.

What you can do to get past this is:

  • Reflect on all the actions you’ve taken thus far for clues that helped you get to this level.
  • Review your mission and use its clarity to filter decisions.
  • Do the next right action in front of you.
  • Schedule a daily check-in with yourself to put aside time to decide on your next move.
  • Be as proactive and intentional as you can when deciding versus being reactive.

Keep the water flowing

You have to keep the water on and flowing to get access to your clear streams, and you do this by taking actions, big or small, to bring momentum to your action flywheel.

One of our superpowers is coaching leaders and teams to achieve missions through action strategies. Reach out, we can help get your flywheel moving!

action flywheel

Action Flywheel

Any action, big or small, will lead you to big results. Use this tool to create your action plan.
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