November 23, 2008

“Making no choice is a choice” – William James

“When you have a choice to make and you don’t make it, that is, in itself, a choice.”
William James, American Psychologist

You can’t get away from making difficult choices in your business by avoiding them. The challenges that those choices represent are going to need fixing some way or other.

Because making no choice, is indeed a choice in itself. You are just as responsible for the consequences as if you had made a significant choice anyway.

So, by preferring the lazy and ineffective way out, the choice you make is just that, ineffective and weak, leading to the outcomes you achieve and, bluntly, deserve.

And it’s worse as well. When you fail to make the constructive choice to actively lead your team, your people start to get twitchy, because indecisive leadership gives no confidence at all.

By avoiding difficult decisions, you build only mistrust from your people, something you will find very challenging to recover from. Trust can take months and years to build, but only a few seconds to destroy.

A business that is managed by an individual who really cannot make decisions (especially the tough ones where everyone is watching!) and make choices that are dynamic – even when they turn out to be wrong – will lead to confusion and concern for team members.

Of course, you can take defensive positions a little when you have the most challenging of choices to make. There is nothing wrong if you need to take a time out before committing yourself.

If you consistently have a personal style that your people get to understand clearly, even if it means a break before a choice is made, they will learn to appreciate that and have an understanding about how you tick. They will know that you like to think and consider the options you have carefully before you choose – and then you do act and make that choice.

By the way, this works in real life as well!

Filed under Great Quotations, Managing Me by Martin

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