I decided not to do something last week. I can remember exactly what and why and when. It was a good decision. It was a proposal for an investment that was too much, too risky and too soon. It was the right decision at the right time. It wasn’t just me either. We made the right decision.
I definitely remember this decision not to do something from last week. But what about the week before? I am sure I made some good decisions not to do some things – big things small things work things, family things, financial things, personal things – I definitely decided not to do some of these things two weeks ago. I am sure…
Last month? Well presumably I did. We all make lots of decisions on what to do or not to do all the time. So yes – it must be true. Last month I made some great decisions on things not to do. Honestly. I did. Just let me think a moment…I can’t quite remember what they were today…
I definitely remember what I decided to do last week. Those important decisions I put into action. And last week; last month; last year. In fact when I sit and give it even a moment’s thought…I can recall big and small and important and interesting decisions of what I will do or what I am doing. And where I was and with who. And even why.
I recognise that negative decisions – deciding what not to do – is very important. Essential in any business, any family or any day. It just that negative decisions are nothing like as memorable…personally or professionally.
I remember deciding to buy our last car, or first house, vividly. I remember deciding to leave my last job and take on my current role as if it was yesterday. I remember the moment I knew I was going to spend the rest of my life with one special person.
It can feel easier or even safer to decide not to do something. It is more comfortable to retain the status quo.
Deciding to do something…something different. Deciding to act differently. To change. To make change happen. This can be harder…this is harder. For all of us. But positive decisions. Decisions to do. This is what defines us. Who we are.
We have an important set of discussion next week on strategy. The simplest description of strategy I have heard? Strategy is ‘making decisions’. And so good strategy. Positive strategy. Has to be making decisions on what to do…to do next.
What we decide to do – and then do – will influence our future. Strategy. Implementation. Influencing implementation is more powerful than owning strategy. In most cases strategy is words on slides. Strategy can be engaging and insightful. But it’s hard for words on slides to make an impact. Impact only happens when we start to implement. When we start to implement decisions we have made – decisions on what to do.
And once we implement – as soon as we start to act – things happen. Good things, not so good things, expected or surprising things. This always happens. The key to success is how we implement and what we do. The key to successful implementation is how we adapt.
Personally, professionally, organizationally, family. It may well be more difficult to decide what we will do. It may be more complicated – or even risky – than not doing.
But we are defined by what we do…and how we do it. What we decide to do and how well we execute. More difficult yes. But more exciting. More impactful.
And more memorable…