Shawn Skaggs has seen the ups and downs of business for many years, through leadership roles in the farm equipment and agricultural industries. Somewhere along the way, he realized that any business is vulnerable to black swan events and catastrophic change. After learning how to respond to business crises himself, he decided he wanted to help others do the same.
It was a difficult decision and there was every reason to put it off, but Shawn knew that he wanted to have an impact on his kids, his community, and the world. That need to have a truly meaningful impact on others motivated Shawn to stop procrastinating and start achieving his goals.
Shawn’s calling to leave a meaningful legacy, and his belief that we deeply need to help one another, motivated him to stop putting off his dreams. He started a mastermind group called the Impact, Legacy and Meaning Peer Group, and with help of the tips he learned from The Mastermind Playbook, grew it into a thriving community.
Shawn’s story ties quite directly into the subject of Chapter 2 of Who Not How, entitled The Truth About Procrastination and How to Kill it. Shawn didn’t procrastinate because he clearly understood the impact he wanted to have on others.
However, many leaders don’t have the clear sense of meaning and purpose that Shawn did. As a result, they often find themselves procrastinating when it comes to their most important goals.
Dan Sullivan explains how procrastination can, in fact, have quite a deleterious psychological effect on people. He explains how it can diminish feelings of well-being, increase feelings of guilt and shame, and even increase the risk of mental health issues.
Moreover, Sullivan explains how procrastination will undermine your confidence, imagination, and self-trust in an extremely insidious way. While this may sound dramatic, he points out how research shows that the number one regret people have on their deathbed is that they never took the steps to do what they truly wanted with their lives.
The Silver Lining of Procrastination
Dan Sullivan throws quite a curveball in this chapter by saying that, despite procrastination’s many negative effects, it has its wisdom! He explains that procrastination simply indicates that you have strong goals or ambitions, but lack the knowledge or capability to achieve those goals. This creates a sense of tension and paralysis.
Procrastination really tells you that you’re not the right person to achieve the goals you’ve set, at least not yet. It tells you that you have to find the right person to help you achieve your goals. As Sullivan puts it, you need to find the right “whos” that will provide the knowledge or capabilities that you lack.
If you find yourself procrastinating, stop asking “how can I do this?” and start asking “who can help me with this?” Sullivan puts this question even more bluntly in the book, suggesting that procrastinators ask the question “who can achieve this goal for me?”
Check out The Mastermind Playbook for more information about why procrastination is so limiting.
How to Stop Procrastinating
Dan Sullivan breaks down how to stop procrastinating in a few simple steps. First, you must start by becoming radically explicit about your goals.
Sullivan recommends you make use of a tool called the Impact Filter. The Impact Filter is a simple form that can be found in Chapter 2 of the book that provokes you to find answers to a set of specific questions.
It leads you to find the purpose of the goal, define its importance, imagine an ideal outcome, determine the best result, contemplate the worst result, and define its success criteria. Answering questions associated with these different parts of the goal-making process allows you to hone in on exactly what you want to achieve. It also allows you to consolidate the psychological resources you need to take action.
Next, step Sullivan recommends asking yourself who can help you to achieve these goals. To this end, you vitally need to get your vision statement out in the world far and wide so that you can find them. We all need individuals perfectly suited for helping us achieve our life’s purpose… and we get to do the same for them.
Check out The Mastermind Playbook for more tips on how to stop procrastinating.
Why It’s Crucial for Mastermind Leaders to Learn How to Put a Stop to Procrastination
It’s impossible to know how many great mastermind groups were never created or fizzled out because the person fit to lead them fell victim to procrastination. As a mastermind leader, it’s imperative to stop procrastinating by clearly defining your goals for the group, and find the people required to make that group a reality. That includes finding the right members, organizers, and administrators.
More importantly, when leading a mastermind, you must play a role in helping your members stop putting their dreams on hold. How could you ever hope to show others how to stop procrastinating if you’re still procrastinating yourself?
Finally, as a mastermind leader, you set an example for the entire mastermind group to follow. When members see the clarity and focus of your dreams, and how well you connect with the “whos” you need to make them come true, they’ll feel inspired to do the same.
Check out The Mastermind Playbook for even more insights into how limiting procrastination can make you a better mastermind leader.