In business–as in all of the complexities of life–decision-making is a fuzzy logic process. You think through the pros and cons, the upside and downsides, the good, the bad and the evil. And you are often left in the fog of conflicting input, uncertain of the direction you should take. The choice you should make.
In the end, we do have to decide: we must make a decision. Conventional wisdom holds that it is wise to take plenty of time, to absorb and consider all of the issues, to contemplate, to reflect and to avoid hasty decisions at all costs. In effect, to remain floating upside down in the grey area for as long we need.
But the truth is, the longer we dwell along the continuum of thought that leads to a decision, the longer we postpone the entry into the no man’s land of black and white where we must commit ourselves on one side of the issue or another. Expose ourselves to failure. To miscalculation. To losses, damages and all manner of consequences.
What we may fail to see as we hover over the black and white, is that the decision waiting to be made can also lead to an intelligent course of action, the elimination of a threat, a powerful mid-course correction. It may well be one of a long series of connected decisions that keeps our companies strong and decisive competitors in the always-challenging marketplace.
In reality, we must transition from the grey to the harsh reality of decision-making. And once we do, once we get to the finality and totality of the black and white, we can move forward–imperfectly and misdirected perhaps–but we decide. We act. We accept the responsibility and the exhilaration of leadership.
We are not lost in the land of the black and white. We refuse to be.