…. throw the baby out with the bath water. Here’s what I mean.

As leaders of our businesses, when faced with the prospect of a difficult circumstances in our business and when we might be panicked, our first instinct is usually to do something about it. We are “doers” by nature. We get things done. It’s why we are successful.

But I’ve found that pretty often we act too soon. The urgency to take care of the problem drives us to act fast, to do something, to react, to “git er done.” The problems occur when we don’t take time think about what the right things are to do and instead we just do. We don’t look at the root causes of our panic. Or even check to see if the panic is justified.

I haven’t got enough fingers and toes to count the times I’ve observed a leader say, “We’ve got to do something, let’s do this.” and the “this” isn’t remotely related to the pain they are feeling. “We’ll change the comp plan.” “We’ll fire this employee.” “We’ll change vendors” We’ll cut this expense”

We’ll do anything, just so we can say we did something so we can say we are in control again.

Granted, in these turbulent times, we need to respond to the changing shape of the world to survive. But are the actions we are taking responses to the causes or our panic or reactions to feeling out of control?

Let’s agree to respond rather than react. To be thoughtful in our response instead of thoughtless in our reactions. Let’s make sure we don’t throw the baby out with the bath water. The baby might just be the solution to the panic that makes us want to act.