I'm a young business person, and most of my career has been a struggle to get cooperation from other people. I'm either waiting for someone to put together a cost for a purchase order, waiting for approval to send a distribution, or using my lack of experience as an excuse to say I can't do a particular task. If any of those industry specific terms don't apply to you, it doesn't matter. Whatever you are waiting for may not be as much of a hinderance as you thought.
Often a task can be a puzzle that may not be obvious to start, and there are pieces all over. Focus on what YOU can do. Don't worry about the other people involved. If they aren't willing to help, you will learn more than you would have otherwise; and your competency in the eyes your superior’s will shine. John G. Miller in, “ The Question Behind The Question,” says:
"The practice of personal accountability: We discipline our thoughts. We ask better questions. We take action."
Start asking yourself what you can do or how you can do it. Use these questions to replace what we typically ask, eg. Why won't they help me? Whose fault is this? When will they get started?
Take what you know, put the puzzle pieces together, and do your best.
Indecision or inactivity is something that every organization struggles to overcome. If someone chooses to ignore your request for approval for a relatively routine task that you know is clear cut, after diligently seeking the proper approval it may be time to take action. Do what is right, what moves your company forward. No one can fault you for that, and it shows that you can take initiative and be productive.
If inexperience is your excuse, change yourself. After all, YOU are the only person that YOU can change. You can gain knowledge and experience from so many different places in today's world. Here are some:
You may say, I don't have time for those things. I'm already so busy. When will I be able to do those things? These are the exact type of statements that indicate a lack of personal accountability. Instead ask how you can do it. What can you do?
It's all about your attitude. Of course you'll be tired if you have to wake up early to read a book, if you choose to think that way. What if you went to bed excited to wake up and learn something new? You may not be so tired if you chose to think that way. Instead, you would wake up energized! Even someone on the tightest budget can go get a used book for dirt cheap and improve their knowledge.
You may say, “But I have a long commute.” Listen to an audiobook while your making the long trek to work. Your car is now a mobile classroom! The bottom line is figure it out! Make a commitment to yourself, and keep it. Have a daily routine for your success, and don't give up on it. Good habits are hard to form but worth the fight.