Why Leaders Don’t Try Anything

by Wayne Sharer

International speaker, author, and entrepreneur. Retired navy officer, former commanding officer. Over 35 years of leading, coaching, mentoring, and speaking.

July 3, 2018

It’s likely that you, like me, say sometime during each day like I’m going to try to finish this or I’m going to try to get that done.

I’ve certainly used it many times and I’m guessing you’ve used it often as well.

Try is a fairly good word because to others it sounds positive. It sounds to others like you will do something. But for a leader, it is not a great word at all.

The word try is a word that subconsciously gives you permission to not complete things if they don’t go exactly right. It’s not a word of accomplishment. It’s a word fraught full of escapes.

Essentially, try allows you to have an excuse if you fail to complete what you said you would try.

That’s why leaders avoid the word try and use it less often than managers and others. Leaders want definite outcomes with aggressive action. Try is not aggressive, it’s not even progressive.

Leaders say they will do this or they will do that. There is no escape from this statement. You can’t just stick your foot in the water and then say you tried and leave.

Doing means you will see it through to the outcome. Sometimes you fail, but you will do. By being the leader that says you will do something, you show intent for action.

Leaders want, even demand action. Simply trying is rarely good enough. When you say you will do something, you do it until it’s complete. The excuses won’t follow as with the word try.

If you’re aiming to change from the manager to the leader, then make today and everyday your “Do” day. See if you don’t have different results. Watch your team and see if they don’t perform more definitively.

Stop trying and start doing. It’s a tougher road for certain. There’s many more bumps and steep curves.

Nonetheless, the doers always win out over the triers.

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