I have a lot of really smart, rational, seasoned, and negative business owners and CEO’s as my clients. Their negativity isn’t a downer either. They simply think about “what if” kinda scenarios for a living with their company on the line. You don’t last long as a leader if you can’t imagine what might go wrong. Many of them (me included) tend to catastrophize. Here’s why. When they encounter a downturn, have to reset guidance, face a reduction in force, fight off a lawsuit, or negotiate a remedy with another when they were the one wronged – they tend to ask themselves an unhelpful but accessible question.
“What’s the worst thing that could happen?”
Funny, how this question rarely makes us feel any better. Here’s a great “and” to this question if you’re a leader looking at a large log in your way. After asking yourself what’s the worst thing that could happen and gaining clarity around the answer, ask yourself this one.
“What would I do after the worst thing happened?”
Not only will you feel better once you write out your answer, you may discover a completely new road you didn’t know prior to asking. You see, the greatest leaders ask the best questions especially when they’re in the middle of the hard shit-storm. And, these same leaders find hope amidst the market hell that freezes the masses who only imagine the worst. Curious and decisive, remember. Don’t forget the followup question when you imagine, as you rightly ought, the doomsday scenario you someday are certain to face. And, followup your answer with ACTion. Good.
Where did that log go, anyway…