What you “should do” isn’t always as clear as you think it should be. Often, business books or strategy consultants try to distill ideas down into simple black or white decisions. But, most of life is simply not that clear cut. Even the decisions that appear to be simple are mostly gray.
There isn’t a “right thing” to do.
There are many things you could do. Almost all of them have some merit. Even the stupidest idea you can think of can produce positive results.
Your effort, timing, and execution decide the effectiveness of the complex decisions you make.
Just going through the motions isn’t enough to produce the results that you want. Making the right decision too late won’t get you the right results either. And most importantly — “how” you do what you decide to do is the reason why you succeed or fail.
Just because you’re saying “How can I help you?” doesn’t mean that people feel that you are helpful — especially if you’re not making eye contact and muttering it through clinched teeth.
You’re doing the right thing “wrong”.
Your execution of the right decision to be helpful is all wrong. That’s not how how people want to be treated.
This is where the “gray” comes in. You could come to the conclusion that asking people if they need help is a bad decision based on the feedback you get from executing the right thing the wrong way.
Think about how many bad business conclusions are made simply because poor execution and effort and timing make what was done a poor representation of what “should” have been done. Ineffective email marketing. Lackluster employee retention. Slumping profits. Inability to drive new revenue. Struggling brand reputation.. They are all “gray”.
Which is why there isn’t a “right” to do.
They aren’t black-and-white, clear cut failures. The only thing you can be assured of is that you didn’t get the results that you wanted. Your conclusion is a lot harder.
What you should do next demands brutal honesty, relentless effort, and an insatiable appetite for improvement.
Don’t let anyone else tell you what you “should” be doing. Figure it out for yourself. Just don’t pretend like you’re always right.
Learn from your mistakes.
Don’t let indecision and mediocre execution trick you into thinking that you need to chase a trending new strategy.
Invest in getting it right.