Solving problems requires taking action, not just talking

It seems that one of the challenges of today is whether to talk or to act.

On certain issues about which I am concerned, there appears to be a local, regional or national conference every week.  These conferences feature “thought leaders” who share their opinions and knowledge on the topic.  Very rarely do these conferences offer a solution.  When a solution is offered, there is no instruction book.  Implementing a solution takes on the appearance of ‘belling the cat’ — a whimsical fantasy without recognition of the associated cost.

I recently referred to a popular talk-show host as engaging in “hate speech.”  I offended a number of people who considered the talk-show host a beacon of truth.  The content of the show is almost entirely the criticism of policy or the bashing of people.  No solutions.  Just complaining.  This type of communication seems to amplify the feeling of victimization — there is nothing I can do, and someone else should solve this problem.

I am concerned about the relative great volume of talk and seeming lack of action.

Entrepreneurs are actors.  In fact, we often make fun of entrepreneurs for acting in what appears to be an irrational manner.  “He jumped off a cliff and made an airplane on the way down”.  But action is required to solve problems.  Few problems will disappear on their own.

Take action.  Make a list of the top three things that represent your personal, business and community problems.  Determine what you, acting alone, can do to resolve those problems and take action.  Don’t complain.  Don’t kick the can down the road.  Don’t allocate responsibility.

What would your life look like if you act?  How much better will it be than if you don’t act?

Don’t act alone.  A group of entrepreneurs is called a business.  A group of customers is called a crowd.  A group of citizens is called a party.  Solving problems typically requires many people.

It may be necessary to talk to identify the problem, to conceive a solution and to organize people to act.  However, words without action are only words.

Karl Dakin is principal with Dakin Capital Services LLC. Reach him at kdakin@dakincapital.com.