Deer in Headlights Die

We can all picture that hapless deer. Frozen with fear and awaiting the inevitable, the immobilized soul locks up instead of leaping to safety. As decent people, we just wish that sorry creature would get moving and avoid the Mack truck, racing 70 miles per hour to put an end to this innocent being.

With economic challenges racing towards you like a bullet train, how do you react? Do you stand still like the deer, frozen with fear and anxiety? Or do you leap into action to avoid the menacing threat?

With global financial crises, increasing complexity, and crumbing competitive advantages, I’ve seen all too many people freeze rather than act. They worry about the consequences of their actions. They overestimate the status quo and underestimate the need for change. They make excuses, put their heads in the sand, and say naive things such as “things will get better on their own” or “I’m sure the worst is behind us.”

When it comes to creativity, getting started is both the hardest and most important task. If you wait to try a new idea until you’ve carefully orchestrated every possible maneuver, the world will pass you by while you’re busy planning. In today’s warp-speed world, it’s no longer about the big beating the small. It’s about the fast beating the slow.

That poor deer meets an untimely death not because she lacks capability, but because she lacks the courage to get moving. It doesn’t really matter which direction she moves, as long as she acts instead of freezes.

The same applies to your career, your company, and your industry. With seemingly insurmountable business challenges, and massive sea-changes in the global economic waters you must act in order to survive. The first step is always the hardest to take, but it creates the momentum you need to enable meaningful change and success.

Where are you frozen? Waiting for just the right moment to start that new project? Putting off your 2011 strategy? Delaying the launch of a new idea? Hiring (or firing) talent? Entering a new market? You can always find excuses that justify inaction, but standing still is simply not the route to your highest potential.

It’s time to leap into action, conquer the fear and move in a new, creative direction. Once you’re in motion, you can always course-correct but whatever you do don’t sit still. Every day the world is in constant motion. Are you?