I encountered Zig Ziglar ~15 years ago at a leadership conference I attended in Lancaster, PA. Shockingly, and sadly, at the time, I really didn’t know who he was. I was young, supposedly well “educated,” ambitious but green, very green. And so when he came up to me and shook my hand, I had no idea who this guy with the interesting name was other than the main speaker at our conference.

It wasn’t until sometime later, after he had passed away, when I was in desperate need of learning how to grow and develop my own business, that in getting more “educated” I came across Zig Ziglar quote after Zig Ziglar quote and realized just how influential he was from a sales standpoint but more importantly from a character and leadership standpoint.

He came to mind the other day when I was speaking with a client who was telling me that he was “going to get around to it” in regard to some career management issues we were discussing. It reminded me of Zig, that leadership conference, and his “round TUIT” (too-it) cards.

He used to give out these circle cards with the letters “TUIT” on them whenever someone told him they were going to get “around to it” sooner or later. He would then say something like, “Great! It just so happens I have a round TUIT right here. Now you can get going.”

In other words, he was letting the person know in a humorous way that saying that you are going to “get around” to something is basically a silly excuse. He was “freeing” them from all those good intentions.

As a business owner, it’s been a great challenge for me. One I ask myself regularly,

“Well, are you going to do it, or aren’t you?”

When it comes to our careers, 95% of us seem to manage them based on the “round TUIT” principle. We start off with grand ideas, get beaten down a little by the corporate “goo,” hope for greener pastures, get tired out from our personal lives, and pray for a savior (but only one that will make it all so much simpler for us). In other words, we want it all (or at least better than what we have now), but we don’t really intend to do much about it until we’re forced to.

That’s the career management strategy we know and, well, apparently love because that’s what we do. (Myself included at times.)

Also, there’s a segment of the 95% who believes they must have everything figured out all the time or else suffer the consequences of a “rash” decision. (This group loves the “getting around to it” syndrome because it is so comforting.) Little do they realize, however, that in the marketplace “haste does NOT make waste,” stalling does.

The more you stall, the more you lose.

Ouch. That hurts. But it’s true.

Corporate “goo” has a way of clouding over the realities of the marketplace. It makes its professionals forget that they are part of the supply-and-demand cycle (so…capitalistic, I know!). It makes them think that things move along slowly and that time is meant to be tied up in a lot of activity (not necessarily accomplishment). It makes them (you, me) forget that they really can be “proactive” with their careers (beyond paying thousands and thousands for more education for little ROI).

It does all that until…

POW!

One day the world drops out, the company sells/changes management/lays you off/fires you/pigeonholes you into a role you don’t want….

Whatever it is…when it comes, it comes. And there’s no more getting “round TUIT.”

At both ITtechExec and NoddlePlace, we’ve made a conscious effort to focus on the 5% who understand, like Jack Welch, that “speed is imperative.” Not because they want to take uncalculated risks or do something foolish, in fact they come to us to ensure that doesn’t happen, but because they want to do whatever they can to take back control of their careers and build in protections.

In other words, they’re tired of waiting to see what happens and hoping they will get around to it. They’re willing to do it “afraid” or maybe even a little bit unprepared!

Are you?