How to take action like a Marine

Last week I went to a VEL Institute Keynote event where two retired Marines talked about their careers to date, particularly focusing on what made them successful.

I took quite a bit of notes and today I wanted to expand on a concept that I think is most relevant to where I am in life. 

Apparently Marines are taught OODA loop which stands for Observe, Orient, Decide and Act. The main point being that the leaders who do it faster … win!

I think the reason this really struck a chord with me is that I am a firm believer that clarity comes from action. Yet, to be totally honest, though I always eventually act, sometimes that action gets delayed a bit. 

For example, I turn to Facebook when I am stuck on what I want to say in my writing. Or I might say to myself that I only have half an hour, so it’s not enough time to work on something meaningful and I start checking out what’s on the news.  

In short, when the conditions get uncomfortable, going online to get “knowledge” becomes my way out from discomfort. As such, my OODA loop slows down and action gets put on hold.

What am I going to do about it? I’m sure this will be a continual journey especially now that I am my own boss. Having said that this is what I am going to differently this week:

  1. Don’t check my phone first thing in the morning. Wait till I am done with my writing for the day.
  2. Don’t have facebook open in my computer browser when I write. 
  3. Be conscious of my “ahs” and “you knows” in my speech. It is more of a toastmaster goal, but I think this definitely has the potential of me getting to the point, and therefore action faster:)

What slows down your OODA loop? How can you accelerate taking action?


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