Keeping You Head Down

One of the traps I find many leaders face relates to their approach to decision making in light of upcoming changes to their business, changes that are often out of their control. One common example can be drawn from the startup scenario where a new CEO is to be hired to bring more experience to bear than the original business founder. ¬†One common mistake is that the founder starts to second guess how they otherwise manage, trying to anticipate how a new CEO would decide things, even though there is no candidate yet hired. For example, delay a key hire assuming the CEO would just hire their own person. The trap they fall into is that the hiring of a CEO is not a predictable event — it may occur, it may not occur, it may occur in the near term, it may take a long time to find the right candidate. Delaying a key hire likely hurts the development of the business, so why delay just because of an event that may or may not happen in a predictable time frame?

The right approach is to keep your head down, focused on the strategic goals set out — look up only when the event occurs and decide at that point what changes are needed to how decisions are made. Obviously some common sense should prevail, if you have a CEO candidate and they are starting in two weeks, they should be fully into the loop of hiring a key resource. But if they are nowhere in site, the current CEO is being paid to make the best decisions they can — and should be made.

For clarity, I am not saying you should ignore future events when running your business. You should always look ahead in your thinking approach and incorporate what might happen into how you manage and make decisions today. But I am saying while you are in charge, you should be fully capable of exercising that authority. It is often to the detriment of the Company to start second guessing yourself when these important events happen.

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