Nobody Knows, Redux


“…but what about destruction that we all face, what do we do when it all goes to waste, can you tell me how the story goes? No one can tell me. ‘Cause nobody knows…”

Yesterday was a weird day.

On the one hand, nine months of recruiting for a key role, without success, had me thinking I was going to have to settle, violating my “better to be understaffed than poorly staffed” operating principle. Then, late in the day, a really neat candidate and I came to terms. I think multiple lives and careers just got better, presuming all the paperwork clears the process.

After dang near a year of recruiting and literally dozens and dozens of interviews, I was starting to wonder “what do we do when it all goes to waste…?”

On the other hand, a CEO I know at a different company made what must be about his 72nd consecutive horrific decision. I’ve been wondering for over a year about the destruction that the 300 or so people affected by decisions 1-71 would face if #72 happened. And then it did.

But nobody knows. Until we get to “next” we never really know. Each decision, good or bad, is an opportunity to move on. Each moment calls for us to do the best we can. It’s what we do next that helps us keep moving forward. We might not know, but we get to decide what we do, even when we don’t know for sure what we ought to do, or what the outcome might be, or if someone in a position of power or influence has #73 teed up and ready to launch.

In our roles, we are charged with doing the best we can, and with doing what has to be done — NEXT.

When the new hire comes on board, how will I make sure they have the best possible environment for success? How will I pour into them so that none of the efforts go to waste? How will I set expectations that are so clear we will move forward together with a shared understanding of progress? To these questions, I….we…know good answers.

In the case of the 300 or so people hit with the 72nd consecutive Rule #5 violation, how will they respond? How will their company’s Board of Directors respond? How will the habitual Rule #5 violating CEO respond? Nobody knows, at the macro level. At each individual level, though, we can at least decide what we will do next.

We can’t tell you how the story goes, but we take steps to try to write the chapter that we want to see, next, by deciding what we will do, and how we will respond, next!


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