Better to Ask for Forgiveness

Better to Ask for Forgiveness

Better to Ask for Forgiveness

Recently my wife and I have been hooked on the TV series: Suits.  This fast paced, well written Legal based saga on NETFLIX is addictive.  One attribute of the main character and his junior accomplice is that they are decisive.

Being decisive in business, particularly as a Leader and a Manager, is crucial.  You cannot be frozen by the fear of making the wrong move.  Ultimately your role, possibly your job, will be jeopardized by uncertainty.

Hence the expression: it is better to ask for forgiveness than permission.  An oft-joked-about phrase referenced more to marital spats than employment, I have based many of my work related decisions on this mantra.

Fortunate for me, previous direct reports were two of the brightest media moguls in Canadian, and closer to home, Ontario’s history.  Making decisions, I often went where angels feared to tread, but regularly reported to others that: sure, I stick out my neck, but I have not had my head cut off..…yet”.

Believe me, I may not have been the brightest light on the tree.  I had no Business degrees.  In fact, some would even say my inter-company relationships were, well, not perfect.  Often marching to my own drummer, I charged along, making decisions I felt, were for the betterment of Clients, the Team, and ultimately the Company – long term.  Fair to say, I also encouraged individuals to stick their necks out too, and supported them if the wheels fell off.  How else do you learn, if not taking the odd wrong turn?

Being decisive in favor of Customers RARELY brought me to the feet of my mentors.  Reporting to entrepreneurial owners who fed off the bottom line, made this strategy challenging, but in the end, persistence, passion, and the ability to: make up my mind, and move on, stood me well.

Which is why this article in the GLOBE AND MAIL – Careers –  January 12 – caught my attention.  I don’t typically go too deep into this section ( maybe I should ), but the phrase “Be Decisive” caught my eye, because of what is written above.

Worth the read by Merge Gupta-Sunderji, who is a regular as a Globe’s ‘Leadership Lab’ columnist.  Impressively, in the Globe’s 2014 retrospective on Leadership Lab columns, Merge’s advice was tabled #1 and #2 on the list.  Must be something to this decisive leadership quality.