Note: Running Fridays in FromGregsHead.com, is a continuing series of tips brought to you by Greg Price. These run Sunday evenings during the BusinessMaker’s Radio Show on KPRC 950AM. Audio files can be found on the PKF Texas – Entrepreneur’s Playbook® page of the PKF Texas website.
The phrase, “would you rather have something quick or right” is something I don’t like to hear from business leaders. I find in today’s fast paced environment we don’t always have the luxury of time to perform a through analysis of a problem or situation.
Many years ago while working on a project for CEMEX in Monterrey, Mexico I had the distinct pleasure of working with Dr. Kenneth Massey. Massey, an outstanding business leader and consultant shared this observation with me then: “the phrase . . . quick or right,” “is usually used by someone who finds their decision making capabilities are sometimes not up to the challenge. It’s as if the phrase somehow justifies delaying a decision on the grounds that they currently possess insufficient information to make an astute decision. And sometimes it’s said to insinuate that swift decision making is a weakness and that quick decisions are synonymous with reckless decisions.” I made note of his advice and over the years have come into contact with many leaders that move too cautiously in the decision making.
From Dr. Massey I took away this main point: Don’t confuse speed with reckless abandon.
I am a big proponent of planning, assessment, analysis and strategy, but only if it is conducted in a timely fashion. Speed is your friend embrace, leverage it, win with it. As noted by Mike Myatt in his article Perfectionish vs. Productivity, “The pursuit of perfection is one of the great adversaries of speed, performance, and execution.”
Just a few years ago, operating with speed in the digital world was a way to provide you with competative advantage. Today, its your outright surival that is on the line. As a leader, you need to assess a situation quickly, peform a risk analaysis, and make a timely decision.
During World War II General George Patton said, “A good plan today is better than a great plan tomorrow.” It’s a well documented fact that Patton was fearlously making decisions all the time during battle and his speed and decisiveness won him many battles.
As noted by Myatt, “The best leaders are able to make complex decisions on short time frames with incomplete information.”
So I say go ahead and speed, it’s OK.