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Firing the executive on your team that doesn't support the company strategy? Telling your employee they aren't going to head the project you originally promised? Explaining to the company why the quarterly bonuses you promised won't be coming?

As humans, we avoid unpleasantness as long as possible. Some of you avoid things so long the non-decision you made becomes the decision anyway. The science shows what defines us is not our affinity for the things we love, but our avoidance of things, ideas or behaviors we dislike.

As a business owner or CEO, why are you avoiding doing the thing you know you must do and how can you break the cycle?

  • Self-awareness - How much do you really know about yourself? Can you recognize and understand your moods, emotions and drives as well as your effect on others? This is really the first step to breaking your cycle of avoidance.
  • Self-management - Eat the toad first - even if it's unpleasant. As a business owner or CEO your day will get away from you. Running from burning platform to burning platform can be exhausting and distracting. Put the unpleasant task at the top of the list and just do it. I can assure you if the unpleasant task is not looming in the back of your mind, you'll be able to get a lot more accomplished.
  • Authenticity - The bottom line is your employees understand as the boss you sometimes have to deliver unpleasant news. However if you do it with sincerity, show your human side and deliver the message in an authentic way, they might not be happy about the news but they will at least see you were a real person.

While you might be able to avoid making the hard decisions for a short time, if you are the boss they always land right back at your door step. If you stop avoiding the unpleasantness of running your business, you just might find that you will begin to enjoy going to your office again.


Larry Hart

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