Alan Weiss’s Monday Morning Memo® – 04/24/17

Most people don’t tell us the reason for a decision because we don’t ask. We either argue about the rejection or applaud ourselves for their wise acceptance. But we don’t ask, “Why?”

Unless you have the reason—the cause—you don’t truly understand the motive. Consequently, you make plans to correct the failure or to exploit the victory based purely on the effect, not the underlying premise. That’s like the cat which won’t jump onto a cold stove because once it jumped onto a hot one. It allows the past effect to determine its future decisions.

But that’s a cat.

We need to probe. In many cases, we’re not told the real reason for the rejection (it’s a busy season, too many priorities, timing isn’t right, we need to bring someone on board). Only by finding the real reason (you didn’t provide a pragmatic return on investment) can you improve.

Similarly, we’re told we’re terrific and we puff up like a blowfish instead of asking “Why do you feel that way?” (because you cited examples familiar to the audience) so that we can replicate our success and not constantly reinvent the wheel.

Don’t accept divagation. Find the true direction. Why not?

The price of greatness is responsibility. —Winston Churchill

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