The Stress of Second Guess

One trait that you will find in most great leaders is the fact that they don’t second guess themselves. Great leaders make decisions and act without looking back. Sure, mistakes will be made along the way, but while moving forward mistakes are passed by so quickly that they won’t even matter. I love what author and marketing expert, Seth Godin, has to say in his book, Linchpin, “The only purpose to starting is to finish, and while the projects we do are never really finished, they must ship.” Projects will never be perfect, but there is a point where the decision to ship must be made.

Being blessed as both a right and left-brained person, I tend to think of myself as well-balanced. I am creative enough to value and at times even contribute to the art but I am also analytical and logical enough to know what it takes to keep a project moving. Meeting deadlines is the single most important part of a successful project. The art will never be seen or heard without meeting the deadline. Working as an artist manager and music marketer, I find myself working with total right-brainers quite often. While I love and appreciate the art they create, the insecurities of a right-brained person can drive a left-brained person mad. Collaboration definitely makes a project stronger but the one who second guesses creates unnecessary road blocks. When someone second guesses decisions as a project is ready to ship or a deadline needs to be met, I interpret them as saying “I don’t trust you.” The second guesser puts loads of stress on themselves and everyone else involved in the project creating a domino effect that can quickly kill momentum and prevent success.

During my time at Warner Brothers, I had a boss who would often say “Guys, we aren’t sending rocket ships to the moon. We are selling records” I hold onto that truth when the second guesser appears on the scene.

Are you a second guesser?