Performance Improvement & Professional Development

A Bias For Action

A bias for action is one of the most necessary traits for an Outperformer. Whether you’re an entrepreneur, a business owner or an employee committed to contributing to the success of your company, you’ll need to have – or develop – a bias for action if you want to be successful.

Studies find that the ability to make quick decisions and ACT upon them are key determining factors differentiating successful people and companies from the unsuccessful. The key, without question however, is the ability to ACT on ideas or on opportunities.

A bias for action: The propensity to act or decide without customary analysis or sufficient information, ‘just do it’ and contemplate later. A scary proposition for many, maybe for most but, that’s because of past conditioning. If you’ve grown up with a “play it safe”, “don’t rock the boat”, “don’t make mistakes” mentality – a bias for action will be a scary proposition.

The Formula

Here’s a formula for developing a bias for action: Ready, Fire, Aim! This formula is makes a perfectionist very nervous. Why? Because for the most part, perfectionists are procrastinators.

“Ready, Fire, Aim!” Form a quick and intelligent game plan, then take action. There is always time to aim, or tweak your business, product or service, after you have it up and running. You’re better off doing something imperfectly than merely perfectly identifying something you intend to do.

How to develop a bias toward action

  1. Get Out of Your Comfort Zone – Never underestimate the impact of how you’ve been conditioned to think and act. Our parents, teachers, friends and past circumstances have a tremendous influence on how we might approach this idea of having a bias for action.


  1. Take a Commissioned-Based Sales Job (even if only part-time) – I’m not say’in – I’m just say’in… having a job where you’re paid for results forces you to learn to have a bias for action. Most folks prefer the security of a nine to five, paycheck every two weeks type of lifestyle. Nothing wrong with that but it will limit your opportunities.


  1. Take the Plunge – Do something, anything that will force you to get out of your comfort zone and take a risk. The very act of doing something new or different will make you a little uncomfortable. Work your way out of a bias for analysis. Develop a bias for action instead. It will make life a whole lot more interesting – and fun! And might make you a lot more money?

About the Author

Les Taylor is the founder and managing partner of Outperformers International. He is an award-winning author, professional speaker and recognized expert in the field of performance improvement and professional development. Les is a former law enforcement executive, served as the executive director of the Arizona Association of Chiefs of Police, is a graduate of the FBI National Academy and is a past president of the Arizona Chapter of the National Speakers Association.

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