A reporter asked a very successful businessman: “What is the secret to your success?”
The man replied: “Two words”
“And they are?”
“OK, I see – and how do you make the right decisions?”
“And that is?”
“I see, and how do you get experience?”
“And what are they?”
We heard this story years ago – and still think it’s a great one.
So many people have “analysis paralysis”, worrying about what decision to make, worrying that there is a “right” and a “wrong” decision. The thing is, we can never really know – whatever decision we make, we can’t go back and compare the outcome with what the outcome would have been if we had taken the other option. Nothing stands still, there’s no way of knowing what result the other decision would have rendered. We must simply see it all as learning. There is no such thing as failure, only results. Learning helps us to develop and grow. If we don’t learn we don’t grow.
We of course need to do some analysis and comparison of the options – and then make the decision and move on. And recognize that even the “wrong” decisions are “right”, as they always bring us experience and an outcome that can be evaluated and used as fuel for the next steps.
And in a fast changing world, there is definitely no time for endless “analysis paralysis” – we need to be able to make decisions where we balance the need for speed with depth and breadth of data – to be able to progress the situation/project etc.
It of course takes a certain amount of courage to make a decision and take responsibility for its outcome. Courage is crucial to progress and success. We must be willing for all of our decisions to not all be perfect. Let’s be honest, when is anything every “perfect”? Is there even such a thing? Maybe perfection is to learn? Maybe perfection is to keep getting better at something? Maybe perfection in the analysis paralysis form is outdated?
Let’s be honest, when is anything every “perfect”? Is there even such a thing?
Maybe perfection is to learn?
Maybe perfection is to keep getting better at something?
So beware the illusion of “perfection” too. It so easily makes us too cautious, too worried of not getting it “right”. Don’t let analysis paralysis stop you. Do the analysis you need to do and then make the decision and follow through on it – and evaluate the results you get, learn from it – value the experience it gives you. If it’s not great, then get up, brush yourself off and keep going, taking your learning and experience with you on the way. This is resilience and it is crucial to success.
About the authors
Mandy Flint & Elisabet Vinberg Hearn, award-winning authors of ”The Team Formula”.
Their latest book ”Leading Teams – 10 Challenges: 10 Solutions” is out now, published by Financial Times International.
Praise for ”Leading Teams: ”This book is a 21st-century guide on how to build a world-class team. I highly recommend it” Steve Siebold, Founder, Mental Toughness University, Florida USA.