To tackle a big goal, start by taking the first step

| Chris Barrows | Press

"Take action.  It can only suck once, or it can be the best thing we’ve ever done."

Action.  Our “action muscles” are arguably the most important muscle in our bodies.  

Too often, I’ve been on the side of caution, waiting for the perfect circumstances in order to take action.  Why take an unnecessary risk?  Why attempt something I didn’t believe I was “qualified” to do?  I was sure someone else would take on the task and it would get done.

I believe we’re all guilty of not taking action just because a goal seems “too big” and we’re afraid of failing.  We cannot let that fear dictate our actions, or we’ll find ourselves on the sidelines watching opportunities pass us by.
 
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The Opportunity

As a company, our training needed a facelift.  We had attempted to revamp our materials multiple times, but we kept running into the roadblock of inconsistent implementation.  With nearly 1,000 team members across the country, implementation lag was real and I couldn’t be everywhere at once to ensure the right materials were consistently being used. 

Having studied learning cultures and processes, I knew that there were a plethora of exciting technological options available.  However, there were a lot of reasons that I should have looked the other way and not tried. 

I’ve never had any previous experience with LMS (learning management software).  It looked complicated, expensive (and it was VERY expensive), and creating all new training materials to integrate with the software would be a process that would take months.  That doesn’t even get into having to train an organization with almost 1,000 team members on how to use the new processes and technology.

I could no longer accept the status quo.  Something had to change.  So I took the first step and started talking to different companies.  Then I enlisted the help of some key people to support me and looped in my leaders who always were supportive and helped me manage expectations.

I found myself getting excited by the software that was out there. This inspired me to take another step and start working with a free version of the content building software.  With no training, and some self-education from the internet, we were putting together some decent content.

We took the next several months, we continued to take action, step by step: strategically mapping out what materials we’d need to create, working in the field to get input from the people that matter most, training trainers on the new content, developing a rollout plan, aligning with all departments to get their input.  

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The Outcome

With the help of an incredible team, we were able to develop a revolutionary new training program.  It would help with compliance, communication, and consistency of training.  It was everything we wanted it to be.  

Taking action is simply a series of taking the next step.  My leaders removed the “fear” of the unknown, and I did the same for those on my team.  We trusted ourselves and realized that the benefit of continuing to take the next step far outweighed the safety of doing nothing.

It all happened because we started.

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