How Many Times Have You Been Through This Revolving Door?

Remember how Mom used to say: “You know better than that?”  She knew we could make better decisions.

So, why did she have to say this so often?

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It wasn’t that we were ignorant or unaware of what was supposed to be done.

Quite the contrary. We knew damn well what we were supposed to do but we just didn’t want to do it.

Why not?

Why Don’t We Do What We Know We Must Do?

That’s the eternal conundrum, isn’t it my friends? Why don’t we do what we know we must do?

Libraries are brimming with wit and wisdom to get us to do it … and there’s a bottomless pit of experts and gurus … charlatans too … filling the self-help sections in bookstores to help us find salvation and explode into extraordinary success.

So, with all of this help available, why do the same issues keep showing up like destructive blood cells traversing our circulatory system?

[pullquote]Do not plant your dreams in the field of indecision, where nothing ever grows but the weeds of “what-if”. ~ Dodinsky[/pullquote]

Why Do These Issues Keep Repeating Themselves?

Why are business leaders constantly tackling the same issues … and why do they keep making the rounds to face them again and again?

As I’ve thought about it, there are a bunch of reasons. Too many, really, because it gives us even more excuses … er, reasons … not to resolve the issues before us.

Yet, understanding this organic chemistry question may be the solution most critical to your success, so we’re going to take it on.

Yes, some of the reasons may overlap, but we’ll break them up to make sure each of these dragons is identified and slain … and with what better instrument than the swift sword of Exkalibur?

The Challenge. The Symptoms. The Solution

I want to make sure we don’t dwell on the challenges without taking on the solutions, so I’m also offering some ideas about how to recognize the symptoms as well as how to strap on your warrior mojo to combat these sworn enemies of success. So, in no particular order …

THE CHALLENGE: Refusal to make the tough decisions

What are these tough decisions?

They’re the ones where your gut knows the right answer but you resist because you know it there will be some blowback.

Maybe it’s the termination of a long-time employee or the closing of a facility, but it’s a decision that won’t go quietly into the night.

If delaying these tough decisions resulted in better outcomes, that would be great … but the fascinating dynamic of this decision process is that delay or hesitation rarely changes the outcome; it only postpones it.

What Happens When You Don’t Make the Right Decision?

Since the tough decision you don’t make is usually the right decision, what usually happens?

It continues to nag at you until you eventually pull the ripcord after you’ve convinced yourself for the 15th time it’s the right decision.


In the interim, however, you’ve actually created even more turmoil because you, and everyone around you, have had to deal with the ramifications of the wrong decision over these many months.

How painful is that?

THE SYMPTOMS

When you feel that stirring in your gut … when you feel the bile begin to start crawling up your esophagus … that’s a pretty reliable sign something’s amiss.

Likewise, when you realize you’re mired in the world of paralysis by analysis, endlessly seeking some fact pattern that will support your unpopular decision, you can be pretty sure you’re postponing the inevitable.

When you stare into the mirror and see “wishful thinking” etched into its foggy surface, you’re there.

“I used to think I was indecisive, but now I’m not too sure.” ~ Unknown

THE SOLUTION

When you know you’re right, whether in your gut or with every fact you can muster, pull the trigger.

Do what you know is right.

There will always be unwelcome fallout, but that happens just as often when a decision is unanimous.

Do it quickly, don’t look back and move on to the next problem.

I know, we’ve spilt some ink on this one … yes, again … but it’s the nucleus of the gamesmanship we play that corrupts our personal productivity, straps an anvil onto the limbs of organizational momentum … and consumes our most precious commodity …time.

Time is not a commodity

Of course, time is really not a commodity at all. You need all you can get to spend on the next set of decisions that await, like eager novitiates, to invade your headspace.

Ask anyone what they felt when they finally reached the end of a painful journey on the road of indecision. Before they tell you how much they felt relieved and jubilant … they’ll tell you, “I should have made this decision a long time ago.”

Get past the nagging indecision so you can move on to the next one … just like we’ll do next time.

Question: Do you have a coaching tip that helps you avoid indecision? You can easily add your comment below. I look forward to discussing these ideas and concepts with you.

Lary Kirchenbauer

I am committed to helping you Become a More Effective Leader. With over 40 years in the trenches serving in senior leadership roles, I can help you sharpen your skills and focus on the qualities that will make you a More Effective Leader and help you build a more successfu career. My full bio is here.

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