Results: What really matters

One tiny three-letter word does more to inhibit productivity than the rest of the English language: 'try'

By David Lykken
Special to MPA

There is one tiny, three letter word that I believe does more to inhibit the productivity of the economy than the entire English vocabulary. That word is, "try."

We use this word, ironically, when we aren't really trying. We use it as a crutch -- as an excuse for not producing results. "I tried," we say. "What more can you ask for?"

Saying that "we're trying" lets us off the hook. We're sending the signal that we're putting in the effort and that should be enough. But here's the thing: people aren't actually paid for their efforts; they're paid for their results.

Recently on my Lykken on Lending radio show broadcast, my special guest Larry Winget put it perfectly: "It's not what you do; it's what you get done." Salespeople aren't paid for making calls; they're paid for making customers.

So, stop merely putting in effort; starting focusing on getting results. As Yoda would say, "Do or do not; there is no try."

David Lykken is 40-year industry veteran who has been an owner operator of three mortgage banking companies and a software company. As co-founder and Managing Partner of Mortgage Banking Solutions, David consults on virtually all aspects of mortgage banking with special emphasis executive leadership development, corporate strategic direction and implementation as well as mergers & acquisitions. A regular contributor on CNBC and Fox Business News, David also hosts a successful weekly radio program called “Lykken On Lending” ( that is heard each Monday at noon (Central Standard Time) by thousands of mortgage professionals. Recently he started producing a 1-minute video called “Today’s Mortgage Minute” that appears on hundreds of television, radio and newspaper websites daily across America.