Four times last year I almost said yes when I should have said no.
Another four times I said no to an opportunity when a bunch of “coulds” and “might be’s” were compelling me to say yes.
I advised at least two clients that unless it’s a “hell yeah”, it’s probably a no.
As Steve Jobs shared, innovation is saying ‘no’ to 1,000 things. You have to pick carefully.
I’m not religious, but I sometimes reflect on the bible stories I was told as a kid. Moses is one that sticks.
There he is, in the desert with a large group of refugees, fleeing from the following army sent to kill them all. No doubt a scary situation, and we all know how large groups of people can react when the chips are down.
His answer – or the answer provided to him, if you prefer – was 10 clear, concise and well-defined rules around what could and couldn’t, should and should not be done, set (quite literally) in stone.
It’s a hell of a decision-making framework, a (moral) compass that takes the guesswork out of what to do next.
We all need 10 Commandments in our business. Rules that allow us to make strategic decisions about our business in the right context; whether the decision is aligned with where we want to go or not.
- How we’ll price and how we won’t.
- How we plan to grow the business.
- What types of clients do we want more of and the ones we don’t.
- The type of advice we want to provide, and the type we don’t.
- Our approach to systematisation including who does it, how often and what gets systemised.
- The type of people we want on our team, and the ones we don’t.
- How we will approach work, and the working practices we don’t agree with.
- What we want our value to be.
Over the course of a year, we will have many decisions to make.
Operational decisions are day-to-day decisions, ones that rarely impact your long term success.
Strategic decisions are different. They are course corrections, often small, which lead us down different paths. Make enough of the wrong ones over time, and they will send you down completely different paths.
Commandments are the thing that helps you tell the difference.
Related: Every Plan Needs a Domino Order