When In Doubt, Take the Next Step
Posted on 20 October 2010
I was recently at a conference where my guest made an interesting comment in response to my input about all the unknowns in running a business. He said, “It’s much easier to change direction when you are in motion.” I agree. I may not know where the horizon is, but I am moving towards a direction and making adjustments as I go. This reminds me of Patton’s quote, “A good plan, violently executed now, is better than a perfect plan next week.”
Motion is your friend, stagnation is your enemy. In the military they referred to the fog and friction of war. This meant that no matter how well your plans were laid out, there were always going to be changes throughout the execution that you would have to adapt to. When I was in the corporate world they called it analysis paralysis referring to someone so freaked out about gathering and interpreting the variables they could not come to a decision. And if you can’t make a decision, why gather facts or formulate battle plans? It’s like putting on the surgical scrubs, but refusing to pick up the scalpel to make the first incision.
Forward motion is always the preferred method because you can make adjustments midstream. This action is impossible to achieve when you’ve dropped anchor. I can’t make adjustments if I am stagnant, still, frozen like a deer in the headlights. So get out there and go with the flow, even if you’re not exactly sure of the final destination. If all signs point towards yes, then go. Henry C. Link said it another way: "While one person hesitates because he feels inferior, the other is busy making mistakes and becoming superior."
Taking the next step to get out of the fog may just bring you into the sunlight.