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The Heretic is a free dispatch delivering insights into what it takes to lead into & in the unknown. For entrepreneurs, corporate irritants and change makers. Raw, unfiltered and opinionated.

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Jul 23rd, 2013 Share: Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share on LinkedIn

Don’t wait for permission

A couple of years ago I received an invaluable piece of advice from the CEO of the company I worked for. At the time a small group of us were working on a new initiative/project and every two weeks we sat down with the CEO to show him our progress and get feedback.

One day, we started to feel comfortable about our progress, I asked the CEO about next steps. He stared at me and said: “What do you expect me to do? Give you permission? When you’re ready, you’ll know. And then you’ll just do what you deem necessary to do.”

That sentiment stayed with me.

Today I meet people again and again who tell me that they are working on XYZ inside of their organizations and if they just would have support from upper management, if they just would have more resources, if they just would have more headcount — then they could pull their project off.

They are waiting for permission.

Don’t. More likely than not nobody will give you permission. You just have to do what you think is right. Sometimes that means bending the rules, oftentimes it means hustling and sometimes it means that you have to find a different place which is more receptive.

Whatever it takes — when you’re ready, you know. And don’t wait for permission.

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