Breaking the Illusion of Progress

illusion courtesy pixabay


You just finished an epic blog post titled “10 Ways to Supercharge Your Leadership and Build the Organization You’ve Always Dreamed Of!”.

Oh yeah, that was good stuff.



Every, bold, capitalized, exclamatory bullet point calling you to act like the 10,000 bullet points you’ve read before, (and mostly saying the same thing).

10 seconds later, you’ve moved on to the next article.

Wait, shouldn’t you just stop now and go do those 10 things?

Well, yeah, but what if those aren’t the right 10?

Better keep reading.

I’ll save that one in Evernote with the other 200 pages I saved for future reference and never reference.

On to that top-selling Amazon business book you just downloaded to Kindle.

Then tomorrow, on the commute, the latest podcast.

You’ve actually developed a perpetual anxiety trying to keep up with the queue of resources that will help you be a better leader/parent/student/entrepreneur/partner…etc.

Yet there is more following, more subscribing, more fear of missing some magic bit of information that will bring it all together.

Maybe if you just consume enough good stuff, some of it will stick and you’ll just start doing it automagically.

You hope that just one of these sources will have that one big answer that you’ve been looking for. The one that will change everything in a moment of grand revelation.

Maybe it’s this one.

So many thought leaders, so little time.

If this sounds a bit too familiar.

Or a bit uncomfortable.

There’s a simple cure.



Or at least set limits.

But what will you do with all this free time?


You see, consuming information isn’t learning.

Taking action with the information is learning.

The trap we fall into is confusing these two things.

We pretend consuming information is the same as progress.

What a wonderful alternative to actually dealing with problems that need attention or changes we need to make.

It’s a quick fix.

That feels good.

And it’s not hard.

Taking action is work.

It requires choices.

And it poses risks.

The fact is…

You’ll progress more by going to work tomorrow and trying 1 or 2 of the 10 recommendations from that Supercharged Leader post even if you don’t read another article the rest of the month.

Or better yet, take some stuff from a few different sources, mix it up with your own ideas, shape it to your context and go give it a try.

Wouldn’t it be fun to create your own story to share instead of just reading stories about what other people are doing?

By no means is this a suggestion to stop taking on solid advice and knowledge from the vast range of sources that are literally at our fingertips.

Rather, consider this a reminder to stop now and then and notice if you’ve gotten so caught up in gathering information that you missed the opportunity to put it into practice.

Break the illusion of progress by taking action today, even if it’s a small action. It’s time to put all those words to work.

I promise I won’t be sad if you stop reading my blog for a while so you can go out and try your own experiments. In fact, that’s exactly what I would hope you do.

Just come back sometime and tell us your story. You can call it “The 10 Things I Actually Went Out and Did to Create the Organization of My Dreams!”.

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