What Or Why Not

As business leaders we get paid to make decisions. Usually these decisions are a matter of what we should do. Or on a broader scale, what the company should be doing.

I often see people suffering from “paralysis of analysis”. This occurs when you know what should be done but for some reason are reluctant to make the decision. This reluctance is usually the result of fear. Fear of making a mistake or in simpler terms; fear of failure. This situation is especially common in younger or inexperienced managers. What these people are failing to recognize is that they are being paid to make decisions so the only chance of failure is failing to act. In most cases I find people almost instinctively know when they have found the right answer to any question. So when you know what should be done; do it!

A situation that may be even more common than not making a decision when you know what should be done is when managers get caught up in looking at all the reasons why they shouldn’t take the particular action rather than why they should. People focus on “why not” to take action rather than what action to take. This again is just a symptom of fear and usually found in inexperienced managers.

Once a decision is made and action is taken the worst case scenario is that you made a mistake and that requires yet another positive decision. There is no sin in making a mistake. The more decisions you are required to make the more mistakes you will make. Just learn from the situation and move on.

So, if you find yourself contemplating “why not” rather than “what” or if you know what must be done but are still having trouble doing it. As Nike says “just do it”. Make the decision and move on. After all isn’t making decisions why you are there.