Growth February 19, 2010 Last updated February 19th, 2010 1,980 Reads share

The Invisible Tangle

Image Credit:

There are many obstacles that prevent us from progressing in business and some are fairly obvious: Time, Money, Support, Energy…

But there is one that is often invisible, and that is the habit of decision-making. Or, more correctly, “non-decision” making.  Some forms of procrastination are so sophisticated that they warrant being awarded a doctorate.  Here are just a few:

Generalism: A consultant who “does business planning, organisational development, marketing strategy, performance management, financial planning, executive coaching and team motivation with a wide range of small, medium and large organisations”. Adding “decision-making” to their portfolio – and applying it – might enable them to cut through the tangled web that prevents them from moving forward (which is typically invisible to them).

Activism: A professional who spends every waking moment on client affairs is potentially running their lives by deadlines and the driving need to please. If the time for business and personal development is never “now”; then when is the right time?  The decision to stop being a martyr – to “get off the cross, because they need the wood” is just that: a decision. But in these cases a lot of pain must sometimes be endured before that decision gets made (for them).

Detailism: It’s always much easier to call for more information, more facts, more reasons; than it is to make a decision. Calling for more information can indeed avert a mistake. But who’s counting the cost of untapped opportunity? Might it be more productive to just “try it and see”? What have you to lose? or more importantly what could you gain?

We all slip into these and other habits.  The problem is that when we do, we are least likely to know that it has happened. Our minds will go to great lengths to label this state as something else: “prudence”, “need for variety”, or “customer service”.

The same applies to our colleagues and clients. They too will call for more information, say “they need to think about it”, raise objections… and a zillion other tactics to avert the moment of decision.

The root cause however is Fear. Fear of making the wrong decision, fear of recriminations, fear of the unknown, fear of what other people might think. But where else is this showing up in your own life – and how’s that working out for you? The opposite of fear in my book is Faith. You have to have faith in yourself that you’re making the right decision and this comes from your gut, not from your head.

Too many times we make decisions based on our head and invariably they work out to be the wrong decisions but through the laws of probability we don’t notice. The important thing is – do you know how to deal with these issues so that you don’t waste your time pandering to procrastination?

What would happen if you made just one more decision every week? Are numerous dilemmas preventing you from doing this? What would be the value of a breakthrough? How much are you missing out on by not making a decision and moving forward? What has it cost you so far in delayed decisions?

Paul Davis

Paul Davis

Read Full Bio