In business, we have a bias for busyness. Doing something is always better than doing nothing, to most of us. Indeed, Brainfluence guest and management expert Tom Peters famously proclaimed “a bias for action” to be a key component of excellence.
But, is it possible that doing nothing could sometimes be the best strategy?
In today’s episode, we welcome Jinny Uppal, who has studied the science of action-taking and discovered that constantly being busy can be counter-productive. Jinny has compiled her research into a book called IN/ACTION: Rethinking the Path to Results, in which she argues that taking breaks and being mindful can lead to more sustainable growth than constantly striving for progress.
As a business consultant, investor, author, and speaker, Jinny now helps others achieve their goals without burning out. In this conversation, Jinny shares her own experience of shedding the busyness bias and embracing a more strategic approach to success, and explains the science behind the action bias and how we can motivate ourselves to overcome it.Can you achieve MORE by doing LESS? You can, according to @jinnyuppal, author of "IN/ACTION: Rethinking the Path to Results," explains how. #strategy #biasforaction Click To Tweet
Key Highlights – Jinny Uppal
- [01:13] Why Jinny emphasizes the need to overcome action bias and why ‘inaction is good’
- [03:39] Understanding the strategic inaction language or thoughtful pauses
- [04:32] Why do we attribute crisis management to action-taking? How do we overcome this?
- [08:25] How has the vastly connected world of today put increased pressure on leaders? Is there a bright side to it?
- [10:39] What do CEOs and soccer goalies have in common? The action bias.
- [14:59] Is boredom a cause for unnecessary action? Why does Jinny say that most “action-takers” are focused on achieving their goals?
- [15:21] The thrill of chasing the “shiny object” and how it compels you into taking action
- [16:51] How IN/ACTION: Rethinking the Path to Results came to be: Jinny started measuring success, not just in terms of the results, but the time and effort that went into them, including emotional effort and exhaustion.
- [20:54] How fear drives inaction and unnecessary action… Why do people associate a loss of speed or slow down with a missed opportunity?
- [25:13] Why Jinny finds Warren Buffet to be the poster child for inaction and how his formula of success is sustainable, unlike his contemporaries.
- [27:39] Where to find Jinny online
Jinny Uppal Quotes
“Consumers have a voice; everything you do is now on display. That creates additional pressure for you to be seen as doing something, whether that’s something is truly beneficial or not.”
“When I say inaction, the immediate thought that comes up in your mind most likely is going to be inertia or paralyzing fear, which kind of freezes you … that can also drive excessive and unnecessary action.”
“Don’t underestimate how powerful your principles are, if only you were to act from them… you will get results faster than you could have ever imagined.”
About Jinny Uppal
Jinny Uppal is a corporate veteran who’s served as a technology and business strategist and senior leader for Fortune 500 telecom, ecommerce and retail businesses for over 20 years. She was most recently the Vice President of Strategy at a $12B North American retailer. Jinny turned award-winning author with her new book, IN/ACTION: Rethinking the Path to Results, in which she explores the downside of the prevalent cultural bias for action even when it’s counter-productive. As a business consultant, investor, and speaker today, Jinny helps people achieve their desired success by doing less.
Jinny Uppal Resources
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Full Jinny Uppal Transcript: