I’ve heard a few people say, at different times, “A bad decision is better than no decision.” Sometimes quoting a business book. Sometimes Norman Schwarzkopf. Sometimes their older brother who runs a sandwich shop.
The first time I heard the saying, I wondered if only those who always make great decisions have the privilege of uttering it.
But the more I think about it – and find myself in situations that cause me to quote it back to myself – the more I agree with it.
I try not to make bad decisions. I am a thinker. A researcher. I evaluate many sides, collect intel, and make choices that are as informed as possible. I believe there is a time to think and a time to act.
But contemporary business requires action. I’ve “thin sliced” the situation and then something clicks in me, and I know it’s time to make the call. For better or worse. And GO.
Sometimes the mere act of being in motion is more important than which direction. Getting stuck in the quicksand of ‘what ifs’ and ‘yes buts’ can steal the momentum (and energy) you need to get over the hill. Momentum that can get you where you’re going, whatever route you take.
Indecision paralyzes. At first it just stuns. In that moment, it’s not too late to right the course and move on. But if you let it in, it distracts the operation, makes it hard to remember the original vision or mission. Instead of goal-driven, a project can become at thicket of doubt. Smaller decisions start to grow up like vines, over the bigger decision. More extensions grow, reaching and affecting more and more people involved. A culture of doubt is created.
If you weigh all the options, and don’t move forward but circle around in them – and just can’t make the call – or worse, doubt your choices at every turn – you will struggle. Your team will struggle with you. Struggle to help you believe, or to believe themselves. Either way, their energy will be mis-directed and lost.
If you make a choice, and believe in it, you will make it fly.
And by extension of your confidence in it, others will buy in and be there to support you, adding their energy to its fuel. Unified momentum. It will soar.
Belief is everything.
Walk forward. Make choices. Believe in them.