A Circle of Blame for Failure

Our company’s quarterly financial results were just announced. Our loss was unexpectedly double last quarter’s loss…How can this be happening to us? Our company has been profitable for decades!

Now, You Are the CEO

Imagine that you are now the CEO of your organization. Further imagine that it is underperforming. Worse yet, your organization has low employee morale, high labor turnover, declining market share, falling profits, competitors that are under-pricing you and constant criticism from your board of directors, investors and investment analysts. Sound like a fun job? What are you going to do? You start building.

Decision Overload

Decision fatigue is a recent discovery that describes how our mental energy is depleted by making several decisions. As our day wears on, our decision quality wears out.

We begin to make decisions based on the path of least resistance.

If a decision requires a bold step into unfamiliar territory, we will tend to say no. It’s easier to maintain the status quo.
Conversely, if the request is accompanied by a cadre of strong supporters, it’s easier to go with the flow and approve the proposal.
Decision fatigue also causes us to simplify our decisions. Instead of weighing multiple criteria such as risk minimization versus income maximization versus workforce impacts, we focus on a single attribute and choose accordingly.

[But,] It’s important to note here that we are completely unaware of decision fatigue.

Social CEOs Affect Sales

Customers base lots of buying on the face behind a brand, the story of the brand, the derivation, ethics, values and ultimately, who they are being an ambassador for when they buy. This brings the social presence and touch points with a CEO even more into focus and more importantly, a reason to exist at all. On Social Media Today last week, Leon McLean also refers to the trust-factor in a brand when the CEO is visible and engaging.

Don’t Try This at Home

I’m a fan of the television series, Mythbusters… getting paid to blow things up is one of my dream jobs.

Sitting comfortably in my sofa, it’s temping to think, “Hey, I could do that!” Whether dynamiting a cement truck or creating a massive fireball from non-dairy creamer (really!), I’m tempted to dismiss their “Don’t try this at home – we’re professionals” warning as mere hype.

The source of this over-confidence is simply that I don’t know what I don’t know.