Welcome to the Clear
Thoughts™ newsletter from
|Process Thoughts - Handy Trumps Good
At a recent Board meeting, the discussion was
confusing and disorganized at best. With time
and patience both ticking away, a motion was
made, seconded, and approved. It is unclear
what was decided. What is clear is that the
directors were tired of the decision. This, as a
matter of fact, is THE most common driver of
The handiest option wins
when people run out of energy for deciding.
The "handiest" may be the easiest, most
complete, least risky, or best understood. The
handiest is not necessarily a good option.
You may recognize this "dying energy, quick
decision" syndrome in situations such as
- "Let's just do plan B" or "Why don't you
three go figure it out" creates the welcome
opportunity to end a prolonged discussion.
- Someone joins an extended process
late in the game and suggests a new option.
Postures sag and only the newcomer has any
energy for continuing the decision. The new
option, despite its merits, gets short
- When selecting produce, the third
piece usually wins. You lose patience with the
decision and the piece in your hand is handy
and good enough. (Or it's awful and you
quickly retrieve the first or second.)
On the flip side, Obama is facing an incredibly
important decision in Afghanistan with options
ranging from bad to abominable. Thankfully,
he is following a rigorous decision process that
reflects the seriousness of the situation. He is
considering multiple possible outcomes,
options for achieving those outcomes, and the
factors critical to the success of those
outcomes. The factors are numerous and
include everything from the state of the
government and local police to Pakistan
and nukes, from cost to the availability of
troops, and from the quality of our intelligence
the nature of insurgencies.
And yet, the media and the American people
don't seem to have his patience. They want an
answer. They accuse Obama of dithering and
ambivalence. You don't have to agree with
Obama to appreciate the fact that he is not
tiring of the process and grabbing the handiest
Don't let dying energy chart your course:
Get clear about where you are in a decision
process so you can control it and make
demonstrable progress no matter how
- No decision of consequence should be
handled so poorly that impatience drives a
- The rigor of the process should be in
proportion to the importance of the
- A strong process energizes as tangible
progress is made
|Strategic Thoughts - You Haven't Moved Yet!
When my daughters were young, long before
they became college hockey players, I loved
getting out on the ice with them and tooling
around. I still love it, though it was more
when I could touch the puck occasionally!
I remember retreating to the bench for water,
for air, when my single-digit-aged daughter
alongside and quipped "Why are you tired? You
haven't moved yet."
In a pickup hockey game with the kids,
whether I have moved in their eyes is quite
irrelevant. Not so with your business. If you
"haven't moved yet," it's time to recognize the
fact and do something different.
- Are you dragging out a decision that
could have been made already?
- Do you have projects that seem to be in
the same place month after month?
- Do you envision greater success, enjoy
energetic discussions, and then watch as
- Are you postponing important
initiatives until the "time is right"?
If you "haven't moved yet," continuing as you
pretty much guarantees you will continue to
stand still. Meanwhile, time and opportunity
Call us at 413-527-3737 or toll free at
800-527-0087 to discuss how Uncommon Clarity
can help you accelerate!
|Parting Thoughts - Self-esteem or Self-delusion?
Believing you are great when you are not, is
delusion. Believing you have the right to be
greater and the capacity to work hard to achieve
more, is self-esteem.
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© 2009 Ann Latham. All rights reserved.
Thankful Thoughts - Five Years!
Five years ago I moved to Massachusetts
from Minneapolis and founded Uncommon
Clarity. It has been a wonderful five years of
- Develop exciting new strategies that "sucked
the air out of the room"
- Establish practices that are "better than
because they work for you, in your plant, with
- Achieve "clear and measurable progress ...
at a speed not possible without her guidance"
And much more. For these opportunities, I
want to thank my clients, enthusiastic
subscribers, and all the people I have met who
have helped me establish my business so
quickly. Thank you especially to those of you
who continue to provide me with referrals, the
coinage of my realm.
I'd like to share with you the many kind words reflecting our