Larry Anderson wrote:
Commitment does not require the absence of doubt; often commitment means acting despite your doubt.
I believe this is especially pertinent to CPA and law firms who, because of the high percentage of bright and analytical people combined with their general lack of comfort and expertise with formalized marketing, have the most potent combination of indecision and inaction on all things marketing.
Often, they'll prematurely shoot down potential options or halt initiatives short of their full natural lives.
Bright people are constantly analyzing because that is what they do to perform their work. As a result, they always see "the other side". No firm initiative can be free from second guessing. Therefore when we ask for a commitment, we either get a feint-hearted one or some level of resistance (from individuals who believe the initiative is flawed.)
Whether dealing with decision-makers or working one-on-one with team members, we marketers need to remember this and coach them through this natural progression of their thoughts and doubts.
No easy solutions here, but sometimes knowing what underlies their resistance can help us to help them navigate through decisions and commitments that don't feel completely comfortable. If they know that NO initiative is going to feel like a "sure thing" (and if it does, it's probably not a big enough risk to make a big difference) perhaps they'll put up less of a fight...
Riskin summarizes this beautifully:
I believe Larry's sentence is the mantra for amazing firms…because there, the troops understand that leadership requires their commitment notwithstanding doubt.
You can read Gerry Riskin's full post here.