When her son wants to quit something, Jodi and her husband must decide if they want to encourage him to stick with his commitments or applaud him for knowing what he wants. And this common parenting dilemma brings us to some important decisions you will need to make in business, too.
Why is that important for business?
There are so many opportunities in business to make similar decisions. But commitment might not always be the skill to flex – quitting can be just as important as commitment, even though it isn’t a skill that we often celebrate.
The question becomes: how do you discern when the most important thing is following through, and when quitting is the right way to go?
Some points to consider might be whether the commitment involves other people relying on you, the duration of the commitment, and what you are trying to accomplish with the commitment.
It is also important to consider your core values, or the core values of the organization, both in the initial decision, and in re-evaluating a commitment. Is it in alignment with what you care about most? If the mistake was saying yes in the first place, then if you continue to be involved, it can be a large energy drain and an opportunity for resentments. Ask yourself, “what interest is this serving?”
It is also important to be aware of when you are making fear or lack-based justifications for the commitment. Fear-based decisions are generally bad decisions waiting to happen, and if you recognize that you made one after the fact, quitting might deserve a second look.
What matters now? What is the point right now? What are we reinforcing right now? Consider that if you don’t quit whatever it is, you have to spend finite resources keeping it alive. Is it that important to you?
The decision itself may not even matter, but the why might. And so too might the unappreciated art and substance of quitting.
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