The #1 Reason The Best Leaders Get Things Done (When Others Don’t)


You probably have something exciting that you’ve been thinking about doing for a long time.

A change you want to make in your church or organization. Or a personal side project or initiative you want to launch.

No wonder…every leader has dreams, goals and hopes.

The problem is you haven’t done anything about it…yet.

And as a result, so few leaders end up with a track record of accomplishment.

Why is that?

Because almost all of us struggle with something the most effective leaders in their field don’t struggle with.

What is it?

It’s a bias so few leaders have. But the great ones all possess.


A few years ago, I began to notice a trend among some friends that were accomplishing a lot.

One good friend was launching a business and was frustrated with the lack of traction he was seeing that week. So he decided to host a webinar…ten days later. Believe it or not, 600 people joined him for it.

I had thought about launching a leadership podcast for about 3 years before I launched mine back in 2014. As I was thinking about launching a podcast, another friend took action and launched one. And in a time where almost no one was doing weekly podcasts, he launched even launched a weekly one. Talk about ambitious.

Now to a third friend.  He’s a prolific reader (40-50 books a year) and a super smart thinker and speaker. I told him he needs to write a book. He said he had thought about.

I urged him to do it and so did another friend. He just texted me the other day that this week, his first draft goes to the publisher.

What do all three leaders have in common?

THIS: a bias for action. When everyone else just talks about it, thinks about it or plans for it, they do it.


This challenges me because I tend to think about things a lot before acting.

I spent my thirties thinking about writing a book and wrote none (I’ve written four since, including my latest one, Didn’t See It Coming: Overcoming the Seven Greatest Challenges That No One Expects and Everyone Experiences.)

But I still haven’t launched a YouTube channel, even though I thought about it for years.

Shipping beats dreaming. If you don’t act, you’ve got nothing. All you’ve got is a desire.

As Thomas Edison famously said, “Vision without execution is hallucination.”


Action is stunning because so few people actually do it. So few people act on their dreams.

Often the difference between you and the leaders you admire is they acted. You didn’t.

And you know what a desire becomes when it’s never acted on, don’t you? It becomes a regret.

Far too many people waste their potential, squander their vision and languish in mediocrity because they just don’t act.

So why don’t you stun someone this week? Act.

I’ll bet you even stun yourself when you do.


Here’s my hunch. You know exactly what you need to do. We live in an age where information is so abundant you have to work very hard not to get caught in paralysis by analysis.

You know what you need to know. Now you just need to act.

So what do you need to start? Come on…you know what it is:

That change you need to make in your church

The project you need to launch.

That book you need to write.

The blog you need to get started on.

That team member you need to deal with.

The unchurched neighbour you need to have over for dinner.

That series you need to find the courage to preach.

So what’s holding you back?

Be honest.

Maybe it’s fear.

Or a lack of confidence

Or the belief you might fail.


The only way to get past fear is to move through it.

The brave aren’t the brave because they don’t feel fear. They’re brave because they pushed through it.

The only way to gain confidence is to do something. So go do it.

Truthfully, your dream is failing right now. You have nothing to lose by acting on your dream except the 100% guarantee of failure that comes from not acting on it.

Now…before you leave a comment (scroll down to add to the conversation), decide what you need to act on.

Then act.

A bias toward action is a bias every effective leader has. So get moving.

Understand Yourself Better…(Much Better)

Of all the mysteries we try to crack as leaders, the mystery of leading ourselves is one of the greatest.

That’s why I’m so excited about my new book, Didn’t See It Coming. It’s all about overcoming the 7 greatest challenges everyone experiences, and no one expects.

Take cynicism for example. You might already be rolling your eyes at this post and coming up with 5 reasons it won’t work in your case.

That’s exactly the kind of self-limiting behaviour leaders never see coming.

Jud Wilhite, Lead Pastor of Central Church, Las Vegas, calls Didn’t See It Coming “the most important book you’ll read all year.”

Brian Houston and Andy Stanley call it ‘powerful.’

Check it out for yourself and learn more here.

What Do You Need to Start Today?

What do you need to start today?

What are you learning about what holds you back?

Scroll down and leave a comment.


  1. Telefoons Aanbieding on October 4, 2018 at 4:24 am

    I was strolling the web when I found this blog.
    Ilove it! I shared it on thhe social network of our new website.
    🙂 We recently launched a website in the Netherlands
    for promoting good smartphone deals and buying advice. Since Black
    Friday iis around the coirner and more and more Dutch stores are into this special deals day,
    we dedicated a special section of our site tto these deals.
    Also, we published some advice for buying a new smartphone.

    You can visit our site if you want some advice for buying a new smartphone.
    Just let Google translate our articles for some free tips about buying a smartphone!

    If you ever visit Hollanjd and want to buy a good smartphone or you jst want some advice, go ahead and visit ouur website Telefoons Aanbieding – it’s Dutch for ‘smartphone deal’ 😉

    Greetings from Holland!

  2. Isaiah on October 2, 2018 at 5:16 am

    Thanks for this, Carey! I have wanted to start a blog for some time now, and like you mention, the main thing holding me back is fear. I constantly battle thoughts such as: ‘you’re too young, you don’t have enough experience, you should wait until you’re older and have more experience.’ I’m working through this. Thanks for the encouragement…

    This post shares a lot of the same insight as a book I’ve read lately, Make Ideas Happen. I can’t recall the authors name at the top of my head, but I think you would enjoy that one!


  3. William on October 1, 2018 at 2:49 pm

    Thank you Carey for the challenge,You are surely addressing a very critical challenge in many leaders I included. I have to act by faith and I trust God for success and provision

  4. Timothy Dlamini on October 1, 2018 at 1:10 pm

    Dear Carey
    Thank you so much for your words of encouragement to us as leaders to act on what needs to be done for His everlasting kingdom. I am one of those leaders and I am so grateful.


  5. Kathryn on October 1, 2018 at 12:25 pm

    This is the key to why I get things done in interim ministry – I refuse to just talk about things. It’s important to talk and discuss and think and read, but all along, it’s important to find that point (pretty soon) to take the first step. I find it helpful when agreeing that something particular needs to be done, put a date on the calendar and a person who will take responsibility.

    That said, the wisdom I’ve gained is that there are some things that need waiting and waiting and waiting. The church needs an exit sign up to code? ACT! The difficult relationship between key members needs addressing? It may be time to act or it may be time to pray and watch and wait for God’s time. Spiritual discernment is important.

  6. Cepheus Soclo on October 1, 2018 at 11:16 am

    Thanks for the encouragement! This seems to be directly from you to me. Two things I feel God has laid on my heart to do. But I’ve been timid to admit. The first is a ministry with a vision to have nations restored, transformed, and established in Christ. Praise God! I have finally started.

    The second is a book that I have to complete. I began this book last year but left it because I felt unqualified to write a book. Same with the ministry. Though I have over eleven years of ministry life experience, I still felt I’m only qualified to serve within a ministry pioneered by someone else. This ministry that I’m privilege to be the founding Pastor was conceived in 2003 but I felt unqualified till this year. Thanks a lot for the motivation.

    I wanted to also know how I can get copy of your new book DIDN’T SEE IT COMING? I live in Monrovia, Liberia West Africa.

    Thank God for YOU!


    Pastor Cepheus Soclo

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