I have what may sound like an odd question; Would you rather make no decision or a potentially bad one?
I was in a conversation with an inside sales manager recently where they shared that they hadn’t made a decision on letting a newly hired salesperson go because they didn’t feel like they had enough information yet.
I asked what the downside to keeping the person on was and received a long litany of things;
> paying someone who wasn’t showing behaviors known to drive success
> creating moral issues with people on the team who were doing the work
> lack of effort annoyed the manager every single day
> and the list went on, and on, and on
Then I asked what the downside to letting them go was and got a SINGLE answer;
> but they seemed like they had great potential when I hired them.
I was silent for a moment. Then the manager said – I guess I just didn’t want to make a decision that would cast doubt on my ability to make good hiring decisions. I didn’t consider all the bad things that not making any decision would cause.
To quote the band Rush’s song Freewill “If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice.”
A lot of times there are more downsides to doing nothing, than to doing something that might-possibly-sort of-have the potential to be a bad decision.