No Upside in Re-litigating

Skateboarding is not my sport. I know you’re surprised. I’m not sure what decided it: my lack of balance, coordination and strength, or my unwillingness to break my neck. Yet, somehow, today’s piece by Seth resonated for me.

One of the most difficult things to do in skateboarding is to learn to ‘drop in’. This is the commitment at the top of the ramp. One moment, you’re standing still, at the abyss, and the next you’re committed, fully engaged with gravity.

The worse thing you can do is half.

When you sort of commit, you’re likely to fall.

The rule is pretty simple: If you’re going to bother going skateboarding, then you’ve already decided. In this moment, you’re not making a new decision. You’re simply acting on what you said you wanted to do in the first place.

Decide once. It’s fine to opt-out. But once you decide, there’s no upside in re-litigating your decision, particularly when it leads to needless risk and wasted effort.

Like skateboarding, working on proposals is an all-out effort. And the decision of whether to exert that effort is made when you agree to do it. As each new demand arises, you’re not making a new decision.

 

2 Comments

  1. Derek Smith

    Hi Isabel, I can really relate to this. Well, not the skateboarding part but a similar sense of decision making and commitment when you are looking down between your skis from the edge of a snowy cornice. If you are not fully committed and confident, it is a long uncomfortable ride down. Same sense of commitment is required in the business context. So many consulting engagements look scary and filled with risk before tipping forward and engaging your experience and judgement. Seth has it right!

    1. Isabel Gibson

      Derek- Yes, I like how he says, “You’re not making a new decision.” Maybe just recognizing that we *have* committed is an important part of getting on with it. Of stopping the fussing.

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