Getting Real about Denial
When contrary to ALL evidence, the eternal optimist in us (of which I am a proud member!) can become a severe handicap. When does that occur? When we keep thinking that things aren’t as bad as they seem or they will get better soon. And as we deny our paralyzed stand in a field of quick sand, it will inevitably swallow us.
- We keep poor performers on too long.
- We fail to let people go when the numbers aren’t there to support them.
- We fail to act on an opportunity presented.
- We think our customers will never leave us and so we cut back in R&D and new services.
- We think we know everything about out industry and fail to seek others that can bring a new or fresh perspective.
- We stand (and sink) in place – and the world keeps advancing.
Denial is a death trap for many businesses.
Question: What truths are you not adequately addressing?
It is time to get real – face the uncomfortable facts and take appropriate action. Are you losing market share while competitors are advancing? Are your margins getting hit? Are you not advancing your operational efficiencies/capabilities? If you surveyed your employees, what would they say? Time to bring real focus and transparent accountability to the things that are holding you back.
Question: Who have you brought in to your company that has a unique perspective?
Disruptive companies rarely emerge from within the industry they serve. Who thought 10 years ago that phones would replace cameras? It is the outsider that thinks differently and brings new approaches. Who are you meeting with regularly that gives you another perspective? What industries, other than your own, are you tracking and following to learn about advances that could apply to your business?
Question: Who or what are you holding on to that you need to let go?
Sometimes there are things/people/processes that have served us well but will not serve us well going forward. The ability to recognize the time to let go is the challenge of leadership. Sometimes it can be hiring a senior team. The people and skills that are necessary for a Start Up to succeed in times of chaos are not necessarily the same people that will advance a company when it grows and requires structure, process and formal communications.
Are there things that you should ‘get real’ about? Don’t let denial deny you, your business and your employees of success.