Doug Sundheim at FC Now, the Fast Company blog, hits me where it hurts.
When I work with clients, I keep a running a log of the ideas they talkabout wanting to pursue. The first time I hear them talk about an idea I jot it down. The second time, I put a checkmark next to it. The third time, if there's been no action, I highlight it and make a request. I ask them nicely to never bring it up to me again unless they intend to do something about it. This request usually has a powerful impact. If forces them to confront their level of commitment. And it forces them to get off the fence and make a choice.
I've had the good fortune over time of making the acquaintance of some really accomplished people. What they all have in common is a commitment to action, to doing, and a willingness to get it all wrong to get it really right. I'm by nature pretty introverted, which is another way of saying that ideas, rather than people, energize me, so Sundheim's technique is a timely reminder that ultimately ideas are cheap. There is just no substitute for courage.