You see it every day, people that queue and people that cut in, people that drive at the speed limit and people that break it. We all make choices about how we steer through life and as a business leader it’s no different. But in the same way as our driving style in that moment has an impact on the results and the people around you, so do our leadership decisions.
Big decisions are not necessarily about taking risks, I’m more conservative and deliberate by nature. I’m a saver not a spender. But in taking the wheel you’re in control and where you arrive, and all the people that arrive with you are taking a risk on the desirability of the destination.
Sometimes you do things in business because they need to be done. I make business decisions that I wouldn’t have necessarily made the same way personally. I’ve been forced to take on challenges I never expected, things I didn’t even think I could do. What’s important is that you look at what the impact of that decision will be and that you act quickly.
On the road, you can drive almost anywhere but it does boil down to left and right. When you run your own business, you have two choices too. Either do it yourself and learn what it’s all about or you say; I’ll look for outside help. It depends on how much time you’ve got and how much inclination you’ve got. And, knowing your limits and your capabilities.
If you take a corner too fast you need to learn to regain control quickly or risk spinning out and experiencing a bigger delay. If you’ve never run a company before you learn as you go. If you don’t get you shoes on and leave the house quickly enough in the morning because your children are acting up, then you’re going to be late. If you delay making decisions about your direction because of uncertainty in your colleagues, then you can miss the opportunity.
There are other things that obviously do effect you and force you to make decisions on the road, the weather conditions and other drivers for example. You look at what the options are, either for deciding to set out or not. And look at the impact of what that decision could be. Look and see if that’s a decision that must be made whatever the consequences. Particularly if you’re out of milk for the morning.
You should never look back and say that’s the wrong decision though. Even if you’ve had an accident it was the right choice at the time. But you must learn from your errors, understand what you misinterpreted about the conditions and make a more experienced choice next time.
Ultimately, my deliberate nature has brought me to driving a sports car quite late but I do drive one… responsibly.