• jamesarndt13

"Just do something!"


Toward the end of my job interview for my role as the City Manager for Paducah Kentucky I asked the Board of Commissioners what they wanted in their next City Manager. I looked over the five member Board as they contemplated my question. Then one of my favorite soon to be Bosses blurted out with the upmost zeal and passion: "Just do something!"


That was a lightening in a bottle for me! I was looking for fit. I was looking for a community that matched my calling, my passion for action. Commissioner Sandra Wilson, who is a genuine rock star in the field of local government and business had me at those three words.


Over my career I have witnessed, just as you all have, great ideas die disheartening deaths simply because they were not acted upon. I have seen potentially great programs, projects, and leaders never develop not for a lack of quality, but for the inability to act. It has been said "do not let good be the enemy of great." However, through my life as a soldier in the Army, as as a police officer in Mattoon Illinois, and as a local government leader in 4 different states in our amazing country that is not the problem. No, the problem is people linger, hold on, do a little bit more research, procrastinate in pursuit of great which results in nothing.


It has been also been that we should "not let great get in the way of good enough." This is almost there, but not quite. Here we are insuring quality and we are pushing the ball down the field. This aligns well with the 80/20 rule. Achieve 80% of what you are trying to accomplish through 20% of your activities. You can push for the last 20% of your goal with the remaining 80% of your efforts and time, but is it actually worth the additional effort and delay? In fact, what I have observed more often than not, that this reluctance to pull the trigger on a new project or a new program is due to focusing on perfecting this new initiative rather than as Commissioner Sandra Wilson aptly put it: "Just do something!"


I recently discovered what I think most accurately captures the successful implementation of a new idea, project, policy, or program. I came across this in a book called "Daring Greatly" by Brene Brown. "Don't let perfect get in the way of done!" Yes! That is it. She nailed it. This is what I observe. Those who do, do. Those who don't, don't. Not because of inability or lack of great ideas, but simply because they do not ever pull the trigger. They pursue perfection and they result is inaction.


I came across a technique in one of John Maxwell's books a few months ago that I refer to as the "Do it now." mantra. He shared a technique that he has used in the past in order to combat procrastination or inaction. He suggests that we say the words "Do it now." thirty times in a row in the morning when you first get up and then again thirty times in a row at night before you go to sleep. Continue this routine for 30-days. I know, you are all thinking that may be kind of weird, but it works. Keep in mind, my number one Clifton Strength is "Achiever". I am already geared for action. I am enthusiastic and enthusiasm is one of my core values and a core value of Arndt Municipal Support Inc. Even as an "Achiever" that is hardwired for action, this technique is helping me in my endeavors to do even more.


Tonight, before you go to sleep, give this technique a try. When you get up in the morning repeat it. What have you got to lose? You will surprise your self. It works. Look out, you are going to accomplish some amazing things and surprise those you live with and those you work with.


Dot it now and God bless!

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