By Robert Heiblim, Partner and Cofounder
“May you live in interesting times.” – an old curse.
To make an uncontroversial remark: we live in uncertain times; perhaps even —as the old curse says — interesting times. Uncertainty is a difficult place to live. We see this play out personally as growing numbers of people experience depression during the current pandemic. Business leaders are facing critical choices that may determine the life and future of their efforts… or the end of them.
I’ve experienced a lot of uncertainty in both life and career. Changes of all sorts bring uncertainty, and with each change comes the need to make decisions. As a consultant, I hear the stress and worry coming from leaders who are faced with the difficulty of making decisions during this uncertain time.
All too often, I’ve been called in when a situation had already turned dire, so far along in the process of breaking down that the cost of the fix had become crushing, or when it was too late to make any repair. People are more easily caught up in that “deer in the oncoming headlights” feeling under our current uncertain circumstances.
There are any number of reasons leaders delay asking for help; chief among them are denial, hope, and second-guessing.
- Denying problems never fixes them. It’s far better to acknowledge trouble and intervene early.
- Hope is a great thing, but does nothing in and of itself; it’s better to have a plan.
- Uncertainty leads to second-guessing. In uncertain times, there is no sure way to know if any choice will play out according to plan.
But here’s the thing: decisions are good, in all cases, even when they’re wrong. Decisions bring certainty; they create the ability to bring about change (hopefully, positive change) and to measure results.
In life and in business, we have to make decisions constantly. Of all our choices, many will be wrong. But even when we make no decision; it’s still a decision: it’s a decision to do nothing, to allow a situation to continue or to drift. This is not a productive option, and so I urge you to come to your decisions, to make your choices.
The good news is that even if a decision is wrong, it will inform your next choice and make it better. We are all human and we all will err, but we can move ahead by making choices and then gauging the results in a candid way. Set your decisions against measurable goals, and check your progress. Does each decision yield the intended result in the intended timeline?
I hope you make good choices during these challenging times. There are always options, even when they’re not so wonderful. If you need help, reach out to advisors, friends, family, or colleagues. If they can’t help, then talk with others who can offer insights based on industry experience, such as members of our firm. We have been through a lot of fires, and we can help separate the stress of decision-making from your actual range of choices. We can help you determine the milestones that will ensure your progress.
These times are tough. We wish friends, partners, clients, and everyone else all the best in their personal and business endeavors. We hope you choose well, but please do choose to keep yourself out of the path of the oncoming headlights.
At bluesalve partners, we have an active product development process we can share with clients to accelerate and improve their batting average. Better outcomes are good for everyone, the firms, the industry, and their customers. Let’s all get better together.
Bluesalve partners is committed to accelerating change, growth and success for our clients.