March 19, 2012

Do You Go With Your Gut?

We admire leadership that is executed with firm direction. Yet we are often stalled by external influence. The idea sounded good but others have shed some doubt. We can also be bold and ignore necessary evidence that changes are necessary.

Malcolm Gladwell wrote a great book entitled Blink and it begins with a story about an art gallery that is presented with what appears to be authentic pieces. The curator suspects the pieces are fakes but then a layer of hope takes over and changes his mind. But to be safe, he hires appraisal experts to ensure he’s right. They confirm authenticity and the gallery purchases the pieces which were fakes.

Eyes Deceive

The curator – like all of us – didn't listen to his gut. He wanted the pieces to be real despite his spidey senses. And his overwhelming desire for them to be real transported to the appraisers. It sounds impossible and happens all day long. Have you ever felt that? Of course you have and it’s almost as if we have to deliberate for a while because the right answer couldn't possibly come to us that effortlessly.

We have the chance everyday to make a quick decision or belabour for a potentially better outcome. That is why we spend endless hours in meetings pondering the pros and cons of every decision. It’s the reason economic realities cloud our judgement. It’s at the base of prospective clients demanding results before the work begins. And it’s the sole reason we get stuck.

No Guarantees

Life, business and every decision you make is a risk. But there is credence in seeing smart successful people make quick choices, realize mistakes and correct them long before most of us get past the “what if” stage. If we wait for the perfect time to do anything, it will never arrive. The guarantee we seek is a fabrication we have created for the sole purpose of not making the call.

Change holds a certain allure until you realize what it entails. There are many moving parts but often we think we can stand still while the rest move in our favor and that's simply not reality. We have to affect the change, we can't expect others do to it then blame them when they put the pieces in the wrong order.

That pang in your gut may be worth another look.

Kneale Mann

image: knealemann | ralston
© Kneale Mann people + priority = profit
leadership development business culture talent development human capital