Motion vs. Action

I am reading James Clear’s book Atomic Habits.  I was introduced to this book via a Craig Groeschel Instagram post (I look for intriguing books every where!).

In Chapter 11, Clear describes the difference between motion and actions.  If you are like me, you probably think these 2 words are the same.  But they really are quite different.

Motion, Clear explains, is about “planning and strategizing and learning.”  While these are good and necessary steps to take, “they don’t produce a result.”

Action, on the other hand, is the type of behavior that will deliver an outcome.”

Think about your world right now.  I’m sure you spend a good amount of time in meetings – project meetings, strategy meetings, coaching sessions, planning meetings, etc.  Are you getting results in those meetings?  No!  You are planning.  You are outlining.  You are discussing.  You are meeting.

The real work begins when you take ACTION. In a meeting you coach your team member to increase client visits.  But that won’t happen until that team member takes ACTION towards that desired outcome.

In a meeting, you can talk about the need to improve the results in a particular metric, but those results will not happen until individuals in various departments actually DO something to improve the results – by taking ACTION that will lead to improvement.

Clear lands on a sensible idea.  We tend to procrastinate because we want to delay failure.  And because of this, many of us don’t take the necessary action because we are trying to find the perfect way of taking action, which can never be found, and thus we put off taking action because we are always researching, meeting, wondering…

“You want to be practicing.”  Repetition, taking action, is key to getting to your results.

Does your sales team need to increase sales?  Sure they do!  Perhaps they need to take action in making more calls.  Or asking better questions in the middle of a sales call.  Or by following up with every client after a call.  Take more and better actions to improve results.

Habits that improve our lives, Clear points out, works in the same way.  You can listen to lectures, podcasts, and seminars about improving your life, but until you take ACTION, you will remain as you are.

You may know this by now, but I am a proponent of reading.  A lot of people I run in to don’t want to read.  “I don’t have time.”  “I can’t read that entire book.”  “I stopped reading right after college.”  “I’m too tired to read at night.”  But they all (mostly) admit they would like to read more.

Make reading a habit by reading (take action) just 10 pages per day.  That’s it. TRead 10 pages per day.  Every day.  Find a consistent time and read those 10 pages.  It will only take about 15-20 minutes.  We all have that time.  Don’t think about reading.  Don’t talk about reading.  Read.  If you do this, you can finish a 300 page book in 30 days.

This works for dieting, exercising, journaling, etc.  It’s good to learn about theses things, but you will not see results in your life until you start doing them.  And the more you take action (repetition), the more results you will see.  And the beginning steps don’t have to be big:

  • Eat a healthy breakfast at home vs hitting the fast-food drive-up lane at the nearest fast food restaurant.
  • Walk for 10 minutes a day.
  • Write one sentence in your journal every day.
  • Read 10 pages per day.

take action

“Repetition is a form of change” Clear explains.  “What matters is that you take the actions you need to take to make progress.”



So, stop reading and get out there and start taking ACTION!  I’m going to do the same!




In Search of a Speaker?

In case you did not know, I am available to come to your company or organization to speak on a wide variety of topics.  For more information, please follow this link:  Jim Johnson, Speaker Information

I would love the opportunity to serve your organization in any way I can.

Jim Johnson JMT photo                                 img_2744

Leadership Forum Resource

Are you looking for a regular leadership forum where you can learn lessons from incredible leaders? My brother and I created a leadership forum in Fort Wayne, Indiana that we call First Fridays Fort Wayne.

Every month, leaders from across Northeast Indiana come together to listen to another leader share lessons that they’ve learned and bring valuable insights. We are now on YouTube and you can follow us there by searching for First Fridays Fort Wayne. You can also visit our website at

Plan on visiting our site and watch one of our events. We are in season 2. We have also launched this in Cincinnati, Ohio. And we are in the works to launch in a third site here in Indiana.

Preparing for 2019 by Jim Johnson


This is that time of year.  Budgets have been turned in.  We are closing out one year and getting ready for a new year.  Strategic planning sessions have happened.  Follow-up sessions may still be on the calendar.

What are you expecting for your business in 2019?  Growth?  Increase in revenue?  Larger market presence?  I’m sure most of that and more is true.

But what about YOU?

What are you expecting out of YOU in 2019?  Now is the time to prepare.  Here are some things you may want to consider:


If you know me, you know I am a big advocate of reading.  The past 2 years, I set a goal to read 12 books/year.  I did it 2 years ago.  This year, I’m on track to read 19.  My goal in 2019 is to read 24.  How will I do that?  I’ve already established a simple process that I learned from Jeff Olson (author of the Slight Edge).  Read 10 pages/day.  Most business books can be read in 1 month with this process.  I am capable of reading 20 pages/day.  This process works.


Make 2019 the year you better connect with the community of leaders around you.  Find a meaningful networking group.  Or start one like my brother and I did last year (we can help you do this!).


Make your work and your passions about serving others.  What you receive back will be more than you can imagine.


Take time to think about big ideas and then take action on it.  Experiment.  Collaborate.  Innovate. The world needs your creative passions to emerge!  Get out of your rut and start asking yourself, “What if…?”

If you are looking for something to jump-start you, pick up the book Atomic Habits – Tiny Changes, Remarkable Results by James Clear.  I just recently heard about this book and ordered it.  I started it last night.  It’s not about goals but about the processes (habits) we can create to help us achieve far more than we thought possible.  It is outstanding so far!  If you have read Charles Duhigg’s The Power of Habit or Jeff Olson’s The Slight Edge, this book is an excellent compliment to those.

Creating Culture Confidence by Jim Johnson

In this final post on Culture Confidence, I want to share some practical things you can do to help build your company’s culture and by merely doing these, you will gain more confidence in becoming a team member who PROMOTES, PRACTICES, and PROTECTS your culture.

Just do it.  Intentionally, sincerely PROMOTE, PRACTICE, and PROTECT your company’s culture.  I know this sounds obvious, but we are all prone to getting in and remaining in a rut at work (and in life).  Watch and listen to your work environment and find ways to positively impact others.  Such as…



Spotlight coworkers.  If your company periodically recognizes outstanding work coming from the team, do you part by nominating someone for this recognition. Even if the other person never knows you nominated them, do it!


High 5.  At my company, we have developed a way to send digital “High 5’s” to coworkers when we “catch them” doing great things.  This High 5 – one of our superstars created this process in Hyland’s OnBase – is a simple form filled out and then sent to the identified team member and sent to their supervisor.  The supervisor can then save this to our company’s performance software for review considerations.

thank you

Thank You Notes.  Yes, actually sit down and in your own hand writing jot down your appreciation of someone and send it to them.  Or walk it to their desk and give it to them.  People LOVE to receive these.  Be thoughtful and specific.


“I appreciate you.”  This one may be a little bit harder for some of us, but actually tell someone you appreciate them – out loud.  Or at least write it down and send your thoughts to them in a note, email, instant message (not my favorite because it typically cannot be saved).  These are powerful words that can turn someone’s day around, lift their spirits, and build better relationships.

Assume the Best.  Too often, culture suffers because we assume the worst.  Turn it around.  Assume in best in what you are hearing or seeing.  If an email comes off fuzzy in its meaning, get up and go talk with the sender to get the clear meaning.  Assume the best.  And expect the best – from yourself and your team members.


questionsAsk Questions.  Asking great questions will help you get to the heart of an issue.  Asking great questions helps you learn more about a person’s role in a project.  Asking great questions helps you understand the other person’s point of view.  Ask great questions and listen carefully.


coffeeLunch/Coffee.  Ask a colleague out to lunch/coffee with no agenda other than to get to know them better.  How do you do that?  Ask great questions about them.  It may shock your colleague, but this earns great relationship dividends.


Self-Talk.  Be careful of what you say when you talk to yourself.  We so easily talk ourselves out of becoming more confident.  We talk ourselves down when considering our performance.  Your company hired YOU.  Step up and shine!  Reprogramming your self-talk will surely help you to become more confident in your work, your behaviors, your thinking, and your significance.  You are worth it.

We spend so much of our lives at work.  Let’s make that work meaningful by creating great company cultures.

You will benefit from this.  Your team will benefit.  Your company will grow.  Your community will be positively impacted.  Your customers will notice.

Culture Confidence.  We can do this.