Those familiar with my book, Lead or Be Led, know that I finish almost every chapter with what I call an implementation tool—a specific, actionable step that gives you an immediate way to put new concepts into practice in your every day life.
After spending the past 4 decades coaching and managing people (including myself!), I’ve become increasingly convinced that as a whole, we modern-day humans know more than we do.
We spend a huge amount of time learning and a relatively small amount of time putting all those lessons into motion. We purchase millions of books, CDs, magazines, and tickets to lectures focused on endless self-improvement concepts. But how do we really use that information? Most of us put a lot more effort toward learning about improving our behavior than we invest in practicing those behaviors.
Now, don’t misunderstand: I’m a big believer in learning, knowing, understanding concepts. But once you have a solid dose of a new idea, it’s very important to start trying it.
As straightforward as this sounds, we often don’t know where to begin. So after learning a new concept, it’s important to gather some basic next steps to help you overcome inertia and develop momentum toward changed behavior. That’s where implementation tools come in.
If the concept is valid, the tools will work, and your actions will yield improved results, which in turn motivates you toward even more advanced practices. This positive cycle feeds on itself, energizing you to tackle more improvement.
While I’ll almost always include implementation tools in my coaching process, it’s important to take ownership of this yourself—no matter where you’re gathering knowledge on new or changed behaviors. Study the concepts, and once you have a basic grasp, seek out some basic tools, and start practicing—right away.