Are you “holding out for C?”

by | Feb 27, 2021

Sometimes I get frustrated when business owners do not take what appears to be the obvious course of action as soon as it becomes obvious. It made me wonder, why would successful and savvy business owners be indecisive?

The answer is that most situations have two core options to choose from. Almost always, those two options have warts. The business owner can see the imperfections in each option and therefore avoids choosing those options due to the obvious flaw.

This puts them in the territory up holding out for a better option that just doesn’t exist. This is what I call “holding out for option C.” option C combines all the best parts of option A and option B but lacks the flaws. Why wouldn’t you hold out for such a great option?There is no option C

The problem becomes that holding out for C becomes in action. Tom Peters always said ready, fire, aim. That means no initiative will begin without flaws. When you hold out for option C,  you are falling prey to our innate human psychology and subconsciously being indecisive.

Here is a typical example – the problem employee who also possesses a great deal of skill and talent in their position. There’s really only two options, release the person and solve the culture/ management headaches or put up with the bad behavior in order to gain the benefit of their excellent work. In over 11,000 coaching sessions, I’ve never seen this scenario play out where the employee radically changes their behavior it becomes a different person. That’s option C.

You owe it to the employee to try to turn their attitude around, but at some point, you need to pull the trigger on option a or option B. That’s where the train comes off the tracks many times. The business owner tries to turn the problem employee around, it doesn’t work, and then they spend a bunch of time worrying, complaining, and letting this problem employee hold up their business.

It’s hard to fight this innate type of psychology, but we have to fight our way through it in order to move our businesses forward.



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