From the Desk (and Mind) of Marc Landsberg

Deviantism #47


Every decision we make has a consequence.

When I launched socialdeviant, this thought rang in my ears, over and over.

94% of startups fail…what if I failed? What if others thought I couldn’t succeed? What if no clients would ever hire me? What if no talent would ever work with me? What if we ran out of cash? What if, what if, what if….

Too often, we are overcome by the potential consequences of a decision.

And more often than not, we have little control over those consequences.

Someone once said to me – “you control your effort, and let the outcomes take care of themselves.”

And I realized, as I was about to launch socialdeviant, that trying to predict the outcomes was impossible. Actually, I realized something more.

I realized that worrying about the consequences which were largely unpredictable and uncontrollable was not only wasted energy, but paralyzing.

Fear constricts. It makes us sheepish in the face of opportunity. It’s the enemy of bold.

So, I decided right then, to have an intense bias for action.

To remove my ego from every decision – to not fret over consequences which can neither be predicted nor controlled. And by removing my ego, I realized that I could view a decision clearly, for its own sake.

I was no longer worried about what others might think of me, or how they might react to a decision I was about to take.

Instead, I realized that great companies set ego and fear aside. They don’t worry about the negative case – they make decisions with optimism and enthusiasm that the outcome will indeed be a good one.

And if it’s not, they simply course correct, and move on.

In the end, the only thing to fear is inertia, driven by ego.

Removing ego from every decision removes the single greatest barrier to speed and action in any company – fear of critique. And without fear, companies become decision-making machines, fretting not about negative outcomes but instead about having the bandwidth to pursue the myriad opportunities coming their way.

After all, fortune favors the (ego-less) bold.


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