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Friday, August 31, 2012

‘Just Start: Take action, embrace uncertainty, create the future’ by Leonard A. Schlesinger and Charles F. Kiefer

Entrepreneurs' methods
"What we realised, as we took a step back, is not only that most entrepreneurs view the unforeseeable world differently, but how they go about tackling problems successfully can be chronicled and explained. In other words, their methods are available to everyone.'
"Until now, most studies of entrepreneurs have tended to focus on entrepreneurial behaviour, which is indeed idiosyncratic; no two entrepreneurs do things exactly the same way. But we shouldn't have been looking only at their behaviour. We should have been studying the thinking that leads to their behaviour as well.'
"That was a huge 'aha' moment for two reasons.'
"First, in a world that is seemingly growing more unpredictable by the moment, you can neither think of everything – or even close to everything – nor map out the future with any real certainty. That means that Prediction reasoning alone is incomplete today and may well become even more limiting tomorrow. Instead of thinking your way into a new way of acting, which is at the heart of using Prediction, you need to act your way into creating the future you want. That's what entrepreneurs do when faced with the unknowable – and it is an approach that will work for you as well.'
"Second, we came to understand that what entrepreneurs do will work everywhere!'
"A quick example will prove the point. Say you want to lose thirty pounds. You can think of all you want about losing the weight, but if you keep your eating habits and exercise patterns exactly as they are, your weight will remain exactly where it is. Until you take action, nothing is going to change.'
"But what kind of action?'
"Well, in the Prediction world, you would work out a plan. Maybe you would stop eating carbohydrates, or follow the current hot diet. You'd keep your eye on the prize – losing those thirty pounds. And history shows that you will probably fail. The level of commitment required (high) and time frame (long) are just too much for most of us.'
"Someone who employs Creaction would attack the problem differently. They'd begin by taking what we have come to think of as a 'smart step' (action) in the direction they want to go. It would not necessarily be overly aggressive ('I am only going to eat five hundred calories a day') or focus on a big goal ('I am going to lose those thirty pounds in the next sixty days').'
"That smart step probably would be statement like: 'I want to lose one pound this week.''
"With that modest initial goal in mind, you are far more likely to eat a little bit less over the next seven days and exercise a touch more. If at the end of the week, you have found that you have indeed lost a pound (or perhaps more), you will say to yourself, 'That wasn't so bad. Let's see if I can do it again next week.' And if you fail, you'd try adding something else. ('Hmmm. If I keep exercising and eating less and have just one glass of wine with dinner instead of two, maybe that will work.')'
"And if that approach is successful, you've learned something from your own experience, not just the diet book. So you build off your success and try it again the following week – and keep repeating it until you have achieved your goal. You have broken down a big problem ('How the heck am I ever going to lose thirty pounds?') into a series of smart actions: losing a pound a week for thirty weeks."
(pp. xxi-xxiii, 'Just Start: Take action, embrace uncertainty, create the future' by Leonard A. Schlesinger and Charles F. Kiefer – Landmark)

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