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Take Action to Move Forward

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Action means doing something, a behaviour, changing something.

What are the actions that need to take place to demonstrate that our core values are lived, alive and part of our business and personal life?

How can we bring to life the values that motivate us in both spheres?

Action is the second pillar of the book 'The 31 Practices'.

The framework is designed to enable us to take action on a daily basis that is in line with our core values and the way they play out in our working life, through organizational purpose.

Knowing what your core values are and what they would look like in practice is not the same as living your core values.

To really know about something – to achieve something – you have to move it from an idea, and from theory into action.

Only then do you truly experience that idea – and deliver.

“Talk doesn’t cook rice.” Chinese Proverb

Joseph Badaracco explains that to experience growth as leaders and people, core values have to be played out in the messy reality of organizational life.

“You can’t think your way there. You must act” he says.

Why is Action so Powerful?

Action is energizing.

The physical benefits of exercise are clear, there is an impact on mental functioning too, including reduced fatigue, improved alertness and concentration.

Even when our action does not involve physical activity, the very act of doing something and completing it gives us a sense of achievement and makes us feel good.

Action conquers fear according to Peter Nivio Zarlenga.

As we are hardwired to avoid loss and pain and to reduce risk, we’ll persuade ourselves to abandon that idea unless we act quickly.

Mel Robbins introduced the five-second rule: when you have an idea that seems a good one, take action to move it forward within five seconds.

“Don’t wait. The time will never be just right.” Napoleon Hill

Taking action builds habits, and building a broader repertoire of habits means we’ve got more choice about how to act in any given situation.

It takes much repetition of actions or sequences of behaviours before we have integrated those actions into unconscious patterns of behaviour.

Individual action is one thing.

Taking action as a group is particularly powerful

When we see others take action, even when we’re not involved in the action, certain neurons fire that help prime us to understand and identify with those others.

John Cacioppo, Director of the Center for Cognitive and Social Neuroscience at the University of Chicago, notes that when we see others take action, we mimic that action at a physiological level.

He calls this “synchrony”.


As social animals, synchrony is useful to connect us together.

It is often so subtle that we don’t realize it is happening.

This social mimicking effect is further enhanced when it involves people we respect or admire, or people who have authority over us in some way.

The action of leaders is magnified!

Dr Alison Whybrow & Alan Williams

Dr Alison Whybrow & Alan Williams

Psychologist | Coach| Consultant | Writer


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