How to Cut the Tail Off of a Dog – Making Tough Decisions
Stop! Put the phone down – there is no need to call the ASPCA! I am not a supporter of any form of animal cruelty. In fact, as I wrote this message “Riley Rose” our golden retriever and “Toby”, our West Highland Terrier was under my desk having a grand old time with their favorite chew toys. The title is meant to get you to read on to learn more about how to make tough and unpopular decisions. Why? Because to be successful, there will be times when you will be faced with difficult decisions.
Some often delay making tough critical decisions on a timely basis because they fear the outcome. So, to avoid this “perceived” result, we either make a series of small and less effective decisions or, we take no action hoping the matter will take care of itself. When we do this we actually do more harm because we are prolonging a bad situation and in many cases making it worse. This approach can be a fatal error for a business leader in situations where success sometimes hangs in the balance based on their ability to make tough decisions based on the not-so-perfect information.
There was an old saying that my former boss would use when we faced an important (usually tough) and unpopular decision. He would say “Chris when you have to cut the tail off of a dog (clearly an unpopular act), you go right to the butt (he used the 3 letter version of the dog’s anatomy) and cut it off”.
The lesson was that if you tried to cut it off a piece at a time (little less effective actions) all you’re doing is making that dog angry (i.e. making the problem worse) and, every time he sees you coming at him with a scissor, he’s going to get angrier. One day that dog is going to strike back at a time when you least expect it (you know, when the problem explodes right in your face into a crisis).
So when you have a tough decision to make, first be clear about the outcome you want to achieve and then second, take deliberate and focused action. Get tough decisions behind you so you can focus on moving forward. It sometimes takes bold action to achieve bold results. Nothing ever gets better by ignoring it.
Here are six proven steps you can follow when a problem can only be solved by making a tough, important and usually unpopular decision:
- break the problem down into smaller pieces so you can get a clear understanding of its cause and the impact it is having
- determine the desired outcome
- identify what if any obstacles are in the way to resolving the issue
- determine 1 to 3 possible actions (decisions) you can take
- based on what you know, pick the best way forward
- decide – and do it; don’t look back
PEOPLE ALSO READ – Dog Training Methods for Anxious Dogs