As business leaders, decision-making is our primary responsibility, and what our clients, employees and the marketplace expects us to do. From purchases as simple as pens for everyday use (or delegation of someone to make those decisions) to developing short and long term plans for the entire organization, business leaders are positioned to “lead the way!” We must always strive to move the business forward, focus on the vision, think outside of our emotional baggage and build a thriving, growing organization.
The challenge facing business leaders is that there are so many dynamics and echoes around each decision that making gut level decisions often gives us little control over the ripples that result from them.
But we do the best we can with what we have. We throw the boat in the water to see if it will float. The question we have to ask ourselves is: “Is this good enough.” Well – if you are into mediocrity, perhaps it is.
If you are not a proponent of mediocrity, the road less taken is planning – developing a plan for your organization with understanding of the fallout (risk or ripple effect) to a degree of tolerance that your company can absorb. Here’s an example:
- You would like to have a loan for your business
- You choose to work with a predatory lender who is looking for some collateral for the loan
- Your house is the only asset you have to cover the collateral
Question: is losing your house worth the loan or the business? At what point is the business more pride than common sense? Is being without a home, in the event of a loss, something that will increase or decrease your sense of accomplishment.
The point is not to be risk averse, or avoid risk altogether, but rather, to determine what level of risk is reasonable and how much of it you can absorb. Without having a plan – considering what ripples the boat will make – you cannot know this. You might make a guess. However, while water skiing without a life jacket might be practical, when you find yourself in the middle of a big lake trying to swim back to shore, it’s typically too late to think about what you should have done. The risk is greater than the reward.
Don’t get sucked into mediocrity – making quick, bad decisions without having an overall plan from which to operate. Run an extraordinary business. Consider the fallout, mitigate the risk, then throw the boat in the water to see if it floats.
Aepiphanni Business Consulting: The Business Strategy People is an Operations Management and Business Strategy Consulting Firm dedicated to serving the needs of small to medium sized business leaders. We specialize in helping leaders create extraordinary businesses.
We welcome clients in the personal and professional services industries, including Creative and Design Services, Software & IT Services, Professional Services and Specialty Consumer Services. As always, we welcome your comments, thoughts, questions and suggestions.
If you are seeking a business assessment, or have further questions about creating your strategy or developing your vision, please give me, Rick Meekins, a call at 678-265-3908, or email us at [email protected].