As the years in business have led to a dominance of grey hair, one might assume that I would know if I should make certain decisions. As I stared at an email asking me a simple question, I had no idea of what I should do. After an hour of writing multiple drafts only to start again, I was still struggling with my initial question. Should I respond to an email or let it be?
I knew there was no obvious answer. My formal education provides me with a foundation of how to make decisions. I understand the principles behind good processes. Even as I reflected on the alternatives, pros and cons, and possible outcomes, I knew the textbooks were not going to give me the level of detail required to take a view. The decision was mine to make.
Initially I thought I was alone. If I wanted to get someone’s advice, I would need to explain my intent along with the background and context. It seemed that this approach involved too much effort. It should not be that complex! The choices were limited – answer or do nothing – so why was I making it so difficult?
As I paused, reflecting on my approach to the question, an old story came to mind. In that case, a conflict was brewing in a stadium. “Paul wanted to go in, too, but the disciples wouldn’t let him. Prominent religious leaders in the city who had become friendly to Paul concurred: ‘By no means go near that mob!’” (Acts 19.31)
I was operating with false premise. Picking up my mobile, I dialed.
“Hi. This is Bill. I just received an email that I am unsure how to handle. Perhaps you can give me some guidance with the corporate culture.”
‘Sure, what is the question?”
Within a minute, I had a clear picture of the situation. What was foggy was now obvious. I was working with someone that could see beyond my vision. The answer was clear. I did not need to do anything. Connections would be made.