Too many times in business, people around me respond with a single word: “Whatever”. Instead of a sign of flexibility, I see “whatever” as a non-caring response of a team that is trying to serve their customers and grow a business. They are not only abdicating the decision to someone else, but also no longer have any responsibility in the success of that decision.
On The Small Business Radio Show this week, I talked about the dangers of “Whatever” with Richard A. Moran who is a Silicon Valley-based business leader, workplace pundit, bestselling author, venture capitalist, former CEO and college president. His new book is called “Never Say Whatever: How Small Decisions Make a Big Difference”. Richard is the host of the CBS syndicated radio program, “In the Workplace.”
This is what we discussed in my interview:
Why the word “whatever” (and its many forms) are typically a problem for small business.
Why wherever there’s a “whatever”, there’s typically a decision to be made and why those decisions seem small at the time but could not be in the long run. (Why big decisions are made of many small ones.)
Richard discussed how studies show how people who are comfortable with decision-making are more successful in their careers and ultimately happier in their lives (because they feel they have more power over the outcome).
He researched and spoke with leaders in business, sports, and media to share their experiences with the word or attitude of “whatever,” and the resounding response is that it is a sign of shirked responsibility and carelessness.
How Richard believes in this rule of thumb: action follows intent (and what that means).
Why the seemingly minor “whatevers” in small businesses have a bigger impact when not addressed immediately.
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