The first characteristic of an excellent company, according to Tom Peters and Bob Waterman (In Search of Excellence) is a bias for action. Those companies which lean toward doing something were in better shape than those which gave the appearance they were afraid of action unless it was guaranteed safe.
That’s not to say that a bias for action can’t be married to careful planning.
I just finished reading Richard Branson’s Losing My Virginity. Now there’s a man of action. And yet, he’s always had a plan.
“I know that it is only by being bold that you get anywhere. If you are a risk-taker, then the art is to protect the downside.” — Richard Branson, Losing My Virginity
Know the risks, certainly, but don’t let them deter you. Instead, recognize the slippery spots, the gaps. Put sensible precautions in place to mitigate the downside and to reduce the worst-case scenario to manageable proportions. Once you’ve done that, monitor those systems, but dive in with all your heart because “it is only by being bold that you get anywhere.”
Don’t act, then react. Plan, then act.
Don’t wait ’til you’re all at sea to see if you brought an anchor.