I opened a store when I was 24 years old. I thought it would be a little mom and pop shop, but on our first day, we sold every piece of clothing and made over $10,000 — huge in retail. Two years later, I had multiple locations and an online boutique. I went from not really knowing much about business to having over 40 employees.
Around that time, one of my employees introduced me to her father, who was chairman and CEO of a global company. He gave me advice that I still use in nearly everything I do today. He said, “No good decisions are made immediately.” Contrary to what you might think, decisions made too quickly can end in disaster. This idea has completely changed everything I do, to the point that at times, people question my business decisions because I take a long time to process them.
When people are young and new to the business world, often their goal is to get everything done all at once, or at least as quickly as possible. It’s important to understand that this method of working can get you caught in a hamster wheel if you let it. The reality is that in many cases, if you don’t make a decision today, nothing horrible will happen.
I now work in personal injury law. In this field, rapid decision making is a very common attribute in attorneys because (and this is my theory) the good ones have to be smart and articulate, and they have to learn to think on their feet. In a work environment, imagine how detrimental that is to the culture of a business.
As a leader, you must learn to make personnel decisions slowly. Imagine that your employee of two years walks in, and she’s had an awful day. She decides to give you a piece of her mind. You can react in one of two ways: You can yell, toss books (we’ve all heard nightmare stories like these) and fire her. Alternatively, you can listen, process the situation and provide support if possible.
A company will become known as a revolving door if it pushes employees out due to human reactions, errors and circumstances out of their control. Instead, react slowly, and prioritize your employees’ happiness.
Many aspiring and experienced entrepreneurs believe that they will lose opportunities, contracts or jobs if they don’t make decisions quickly. In today’s technologically advanced world, a quick mindset does make sense. Social media, for example, plays such a big role in business today and sets the expectation that companies are (or should be) responsive 24/7.
Fortunately, the opportunities that you actually need to move forward with will be there in a week. Allowing some opportunities to pass you by is OK. You just need to be bold and have the patience to chew on decisions that impact your brand.
Who wouldn’t want an intelligent team of thinkers supporting their business? You don’t achieve this by hiring quickly. I went from 48 employees to 4 in one year, and my business was much more successful and profitable with a four-person team. Our success was a result of careful thought processing and slowing down. If you think you need to hire a particular role today, remember to stop and tell yourself, “Nobody is going to die if I don’t make this decision today.” If that candidate takes another offer outside your company, so be it.
It often feels like there is an overwhelming need to answer and do everything all at once. Not many people can operate very well at super speed. It’s vital that you maintain your integrity and stability in front of your clients, your employees and the public. The best choice you can make for your business is to think before you react.
Nicolette Daniel – Chief Strategy Officer at Patrick Daniel Law
Please do not attempt to determine if you have a compensable case. You must consult a relevant liability attorney who has the expertise and extensive knowledge necessary to determine who ultimately caused the harm and injuries you or a loved one suffered. Contact us for a free case evaluation here.