I was recently going through notes I jotted down from a leadership class, and one highlighted statement caught my attention:
“You don’t have to wait for a tap on your shoulder.”
Waiting is Easy
Many people are unaware that inaction or inertia carries significant risk, such as with the following examples:
- “I’m not going to apply for another job right now because I can learn to live with the current situation … even though I don’t like it.”
- “My friends tell me to be happy with what I have right now, so there’s no need to pursue any additional education. I’ll wait until the time is right.”
- “The manager told me during a performance appraisal that I need to improve my leadership skills, but I think he needs to work on his leadership skills first! The problem is with him and not with me!”
- “The problem with the training workshop is that it falls on Tuesdays at 8 p.m. This is not a good time for me since this is when our family sits down to eat.”
As you can tell, these are really just excuses for doing nothing. It’s far more difficult to act … and the potential for gain multiplies when we put one foot in front of the other. Eventually, we create momentum, making it easier to reach our goals.
Get in the Game!
A couple years ago, I observed a situation where a middle school football player stated the following to his coach during the warmup session for a game near the end of the season:
“Coach, I’ve only played a few quarters this year, and I want you to know I’m ready to do my part when you put me in the game.”
Yes … a 14-year-old kid had the confidence to make this bold statement to his coach right before game time.
He didn’t say … “Coach, IF you put me in the game.” Instead, he said … “WHEN you put me in the game.”
He didn’t wait for a tap on the shoulder. He wanted to make it known he was ready for action.
As it turns out, this young man played only 3 minutes near the end of the game. However, it was interesting to observe that he was always near the coach on the sidelines. He wanted the coach to know he was ready to get into the game.
When he did, for just those 3 precious minutes in a game that was out of reach, he was involved in two tackles. He walked off the field the same way he walked on … confident and with his head held high.
I’m unsure if the middle school football player will have a chance to play much in high school. However, I’m confident he will be successful in his career pursuits.
Why do I say that?
The fact is there are far too many people waiting for a tap on the shoulder. They want to be told when it’s time to get into the game. If the tap never comes, they just keep waiting on the sidelines, hoping their chance will come sometime in the future.
Instead of waiting for the tap, lace up your shoes and get yourself in the game.