Lately, I’ve been focused on how important taking action is to leading effectively, moving forward and changing your life. Actions are what truly separate the talkers from doers. With this in mind, one phrase that I’ve heard repeatedly lately is “I’ll try”.
“I’ll try” has its place. For example, when you taste a new food. You say, “sure I’ll try it”, then you taste the food. The big difference, is actually executing on the trying and tasting the food! Taking action!
Say what you mean
The “I’ll try” that doesn’t work, is when someone asks you to finish a project and you respond with “I’ll try to get it done today”. Problem is, you know there is no way you will finish the project but you say it anyway. Another example, is being invited to a party and saying, “yeah I’ll try and make it”, when you know darn well you are not going. This is not to say, there are not legitimate instances where using “I’ll try” in this fashion make sense, but more often than not it is a cop out to stating true intentions and thoughts.
Why do we say “I’ll try” when we already know the answer? What drives this behavior? Is it to appease the other party? Does it make us feel better in some sense? Is it to keep options open? In order break the “I’ll try” habit, we need to reflect, answer these questions and change our behaviors. Because, in the long run, using “I’ll try” sets up false expectations, damages your integrity and ability to lead.
Mean what you say
Leaders must be decisive with their words and language and this includes clearly stating intentions and reasons even if they rock the boat. Step into your leadership and stop saying, “I’ll try”. The only effective way to be accountable and to move forward is to commit and take action!
As Yoda said “Do or do not… there is no try.”
Derek Lauber, ACC
Authentic Leadership: Take Action by Derek Lauber
Responsibility, Accountability and Ownership: Looking in the Mirror as a Leader by Derek Lauber