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Yoda was Right- There is No “Try”

Read Time 1 1/2minutes Executive Briefing #13 by Jeffrey D. Cullen

I was having an important discussion with a BaseCamp4 member firm last week about adopting a new approach to holding people accountable. The General Manager of the business was enthusiastic about the plan. As we were hammering out the details of the rollout to staff, he concluded with “I’m excited about this and can’t wait to try.”

At first I was pleased, but then I wondered why he said, “try” instead of “do”. What do we actually mean when we say we will try? What level of commitment does the word “try” infer? Is there an expectation of success? What are the beliefs about the outcome?

To “try” implies a “hedging of our bets”, an escape clause, just in case. “Well, I tried to get to work on time, but…” If we just try, we need not fully commit because, it’s not the real thing; it’s not serious. Is this really the most effective approach?

If we felt confident about the situation, we wouldn’t hesitate or half-commit; we would go for it. On the other hand, if our analysis, previous experience, and gut told us that the chance of success was low; we might be better off heading in a different direction altogether.

In other words “do” or “do not” with the understanding that “doing” will yield a result -possibly success, possibly failure. From there, in a deliberate way, we can decide to “do more” or “do no more”. Besides, how does one even “try” without “doing” in some form or fashion?

Yoda was right all along. There is no “try” - just do or do not. So I’ve decided to eliminate the whole concept of “try” from my life and my business. I’m also encouraging our BaseCamp4 members to do the same. Maybe you should try - sorry! I mean do it, too, and then watch your results.

BaseCamp4 is committed to helping our member organizations achieve the outcomes they desire through “doing”. You can contact Jeffrey Cullen (jcullen@basecamp4.ca – 780-469-3535) or Stephen Steckly (ssteckly@basecamp4.ca – 780-989-7663) at any time.

Download a printable version of this executive summary here.

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