Strategy doesn’t work, you do.

I received an unsolicited flyer yesterday, it was an advertising postcard for some product, with a ‘Top 10 Leadership Tips’ list on the back. They were great tips, I read them then threw the card in the bin. I know this stuff.

But knowing isn’t enough. Knowing is the easy part. Acting on what you know is what really matters.

What’s relatively simple is the ‘how to’ — the process, the strategy, the 10 steps to…. You probably already know these, and if you don’t there’s a lifetime of content for you to be distracted by at the tips of your fingers. Google it. Buy a book. Listen to a podcast. Watch a TED talk.

What’s not easy is that you have to actually to the work for the strategy to work.

The strategy may be simple, the work isn’t. But that’s what matters most. It doesn’t matter what you know, it only matters what you do with what you know. People who are doing great things, changing their workplaces, changing their relationships, making the world a better place are doing things — important things, the right things.

They’re not just talking about it or constantly refining the strategy they’ll never deploy, they’re doing the work. They’re applying what they know, constantly, consistently.

And it evolves too, you do. The work never ends, you never get it done. It’s not linear with start point and clearly defined finish. Allow the flexibility to adapt and evolve your strategy as you grow, learn and change, or as the context, or the people, or the work you’re doing changes.

There are no substitutes for the only thing that really matters — the experience of putting what you know into practice. You’re meant to fail, you will fuck it up, you will make mistakes. And you most certainly will be better for it.

People may be interested in what you know. But they’ll be moved, they’ll be influenced, they’ll be inspired by what you do. That shit’s real.

Show your support

Clapping shows how much you appreciated Michael Ellis’s story.