What do you see when you look at this picture?

The following is the original post and the rewrite can be found by clicking here.

There seems to be some question regarding this photograph.

Is it a pithy motivational saying for your wall; a commentary as to why many people miss opportunities; a reminder that nothing comes without hard work; or just a bad picture with a scratch?  The fact is it doesn't really matter what it is ... it really doesn't.

What does matter though, is the discussion as to what it is.

I am reminded of a story* told a while back about an executive team that was vigorously debating it's strategic direction and the Commercial Leader was adamantly opposed to the proposed line of thinking. The discussions went on and on and on... and on some more. Finally having heard enough, the CEO decided in favour of the proposal. In turn, the Commercial Leader simply said, "You have my total alignment and support. We will exceed expectations."

After the meeting, the Commercial Leader was asked how she could support something that she was so adamantly against. To that, the leader said what's important was her thoughts were heard and part of the discussion... all she could ask was to be part of the discussion, and once a decision is made, her job is to support that decision to the best of her ability and make it work. 

For me, the takeaways of the story are:

  • It is important to be part of the discussion as it makes for better decisions.
  • Involvement encourages buy-in and alignment.
  • Someone has to make a decision... it is the only way to get something done.
  • Once a decision has been made, you must support it to the best of your ability.

With regard to that photograph... I think it's a bad photograph with a scratch.

What do you think?


* The spirit of this story is good ol' business debate and does not involve illegal, unethical or nefarious issues.