If you know what to do, then just do it! I could probably stop right there and have the shortest blog I’ve ever written. But that would be boring.
As a leader, one of the most frustrating things is to have someone on my team not take the initiative to make things happen. Instead they sit back and wait for direction, or constantly need my approval that their path or ideas are right.
I want people that are willing to take risks, learn from their mistakes and accomplish what they never thought could be done. I encourage and expect my staff to embrace the idea of READY, FIRE, AIM! A concept I learned years ago and I have refined recently.
Let me break the term down:
- READY – Identify what needs to be accomplished and evaluate what it takes to fully and completely accomplish the task or idea.
- FIRE – Go do it! Don’t wait. Be the swoosh in NIKE and “Just Do It.” For my inner circle, there are very few times where this concept wouldn’t apply.
- AIM – Once you “Do It”, then tweek as needed. If you did your due diligence in the READY phase, there should be very little need to correct things.
These three simple words can create extreme success in your leadership and success in the workplace.
Here are three examples of people who embraced the concept of READY, FIRE, AIM:
- Elon Musk – When you make millions off of an internet company like PayPal, the world generally expects you to, well, create and make more millions off of another internet company. But Elon Musk’s dreams lay elsewhere: Rather than follow a more conventional career path, Musk took the money he had made at PayPal and invested it in two of his own highly innovative startups, SpaceX and Tesla. Though his attempt at operating these two ventures at once nearly sent both companies into bankruptcy, it seems to have ultimately paid off—today, both SpaceX and Tesla thrive.
- Sylvester Stallone – With a baby on the way and too little money to pay the rent on his Hollywood apartment, Sylvester Stallone sat down and wrote the screenplay for Rocky in less than four days. Producers loved it and offered him big bucks to bring the story to life—but Stallone, as down-and-out as he was, refused to take any offer if he wasn’t allowed to play the lead role in the film. Rocky ultimately ended up pulling in millions of dollars and skyrocketing Sly into fame.
- Travis Kalanick: Uber – Travis is a great example of Ready, Fire, Aim. If he become discouraged with failure, Uber wouldn’t exist. Founded the company Scour Inc., a multimedia search engine, and Scour Exchange, a peer-to-peer file sharing service. Two years later, the company would come under fire from several big name music and film agencies for copyright infringement, forcing Scour to eventually succumb to bankruptcy. In 2007, Kalanick and Garrett Camp founded Uber. After facing some early competition and funding concerns, the ridesharing app is now the most widely used app of its kind. Kalanick created three companies; one failed, but that did not stop him from taking the risk.
Taking initiative is an important part of most any job and is critical to increasing your influence and ultimately your leadership. However, the reality is that not many of us will not end up as successful as Elton, Sylvester or Travis. But I can say people who take initiative, are people I want in my inner circle. And I bet that is the way many leaders feel.
I agree with Conrad Hilton said, “Success seems to be connected with action. Successful people keep moving,. They make mistakes, but they don’t quit.”
Don’t keep talking about it, just “DO IT.”