“There comes a moment when you have to stop revving up the car and shove it into gear.” – David Mahoney
I recently was chatting with a business leader who mentioned that they were trying to fill a key vacancy among their leadership team. They had three good candidates, but they spent weeks agonizing over a handful of criteria trying to determine which of the candidates best fit their needs. They had meeting and thought and had more meetings, and when they finally made an offer they found out that their first choice had already taken another position. The same thing was true with their second and third choices. Now they’re back to square one.
The purpose of this brief post isn’t to convince you not to do your homework when you hire people, or not to perform due diligence, or not to carefully think through the decisions you make. The purpose is to remind you that no matter how much thinking or talking you do, you cannot eliminate all risk from a decision. At some point you have to make a choice and move forward.
Think about a key challenge or opportunity that your business is currently facing. Perhaps you’re faced with staffing issues, or supply chain problems. Maybe you have multiple opportunities to grow. How are you addressing those challenges or opportunities? What does your decision making process look like? Are you like the business mentioned above – all talk and meetings but can’t ever quite manage to pull the trigger?
Don’t confuse thoughtful deliberation with actual decision making. At some point you actually have to choose. Whether you really are trying to reach the best outcome, or you’re afraid to choose so you just don’t make a choice and instead just hope the universe does it for you, you can’t just sit there. Eventually you need to decide.
If you feel like any part of this sounds like you, don’t worry. You’re not alone. The next time you’re facing some kind of major decision, think about the vision you have for your business. Ask yourself, “Which choice would get us closer to that vision?” If you’re not sure what your vision is, then maybe that’s a good place to start.
It’s OK to want to make the “right” decision. It’s OK to want to consider the data, discuss the possibilities, etc. Just remember that the purpose of all that stuff is to actually get to a decision. The decision-making process can’t be an end to itself. Make a choice and get to work.