Are You a Decisive Leader or a Procrastinating Failure?
The recently departed screenplay writer Nora Ephron wrote for the movie, ‘You’ve Got Mail’…
“The whole purpose of places like Starbucks is for people with no decision-making ability whatsoever to make six decisions just to buy one cup of coffee. Short, tall, light, dark, caf, decaf, low-fat, non-fat, etc. So people who don’t know what the hell they’re doing or who on earth they are can, for only $2.95, get not just a cup of coffee but an absolutely defining sense of self…” Said by the Tom Hanks character, ‘Joe Fox’.
What an incredible, fabulous observation that is! Apparently in America when ‘You’ve Got Mail’ first played that line got applause from the cinema audiences!
I’m not surprised!
INDECISION is the cancer that wrecks the lives of otherwise healthy, intelligent, decent, honest people!
Now come on folks, we are business people!
Honestly, the ONLY difference between a successful entrepreneur and an unsuccessful one – is the cancer of indecision!
Does that sound like a sweeping, outrageous thing to say?
Surely, there are a LOT of other factors?
Well maybe… but show me successful leader who CAN’T make decisions!
A story to illustrate my point.
Derek Hume was a successful leader of a small but very good business. He had a team of around twenty executives under his direct control and together they really kicked butt!
For twenty years Derek was a legend amongst his own team for his incredible decision making skills.
No matter what the issue, everyone knew they could come to him for advice.
“Do we do things this way or that way? There’s good points and bad points either way! What do YOU think Derek?”
Derek would stand up from his desk, pace up and down for a few minutes, deep in thought. Then abruptly, decisively he would turn and give his very certain answer… “Do THIS!”
Uncannily, Derek was ALWAYS right! And because of this his legend spread and the company grew and grew.
The day came for Derek to retire and his successor, Mary Parfitt from his trusty team was duly appointed.
Mary was a highly competent and liked individual and Derek was sure he was leaving the company in safe hands.
But Mary was not so sure!
“Derek, I can do your job but your decision-making Derek, how on earth am I going to be as good as you?”
“Oh that! Said Derek, Mary you have nothing to fear.” He reached into his pocket and pulled out two pebbles. Identical in size and shape, but different colours.
Giving them to her, he said “Mary, all I did whenever there was decision to be made was get up, pace up and down… to make it LOOK like I was thinking it over, and put my hand in my pocket to pull out a pebble. I assigned one side of the decision to each of the pebbles and whichever one came out, that’s the decision you got!”
Mary was lost for words…
Derek went on “You see Mary, once you had a decision, you and the team MADE IT HAPPEN!”
“It didn’t matter if it was the ‘wrong’ decision and you found yourselves dealing with difficult challenges, you believed in my decision so much, you worked it through!”
“And on the rare occasions things didn’t completely work out, well, that just meant we had a new set of decisions (or course corrections) to take! And I would reach for another pebble and off you guys went and made it happen all over again!”
OK – long story – but do you get my point?
You can’t make a WRONG or BAD decision.
The worst that can happen is that you will create new circumstances that need NEW decisions!
“Just keep moving! Just keep moving!” Dory from ‘Finding Nemo’
Do I really need to focus on the downside of procrastinating?
Here’s my definition of procrastination;
‘A procrastinator has decided NOT to decide!! AND that said, ‘indecision’ is of itself A DECISION, with consequences, repercussions and almost inevitably more of the same challenges that you’ve been failing to deal with in the first place!”
So… here’s my challenge for you today… get yourself two objects, like the pebbles, and assign the words …
“Champion Decision Maker” to one and
“Hopeless Procrastinator” to the other
And then randomly pick one and go with that!
If you can’t decide to be a decision maker and give up on the procrastinating without such a ridiculous task, then honestly…
Take yourself to Starbucks and keep on ordering different coffees until you get it!
Remember, if you want change in your life….
The Change Begins With YOU!
Robin J Emdon
Success Coach & Attraction Marketing Professional
Email: [email protected]