Sometimes, you have to act then worry.

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My Civil War inner geek raised its head again  when I realized that it was 150 years ago yesterday that Abraham Lincoln declared that the Federals would blockade Southern ports as part of the “Anaconda” plan that would try to squeeze the life out of the Confederacy.  This decision came a mere 8 days after the start of hostilities, the firing by Confederate forces on Fort Sumter, a federal position in the harbor of Charleston, South Carolina.

 What does this have to do with management or HR you ask.  It took a tremendous leap of faith by Lincoln in his Cabinet (the famed “Team of Rivals” written about so well by Doris Kearns Goodwin) to help implement that decision, one made a mere one month and 15 days after they took office.  It was a very strategic decision made by those men, especially considering most thought that the war would be over in 90 days.  Even more amazing is the fact that, at best, the Union Navy had maybe 12 ships right then to assign to that task of trying to shut down 10 major ports and thousands of miles of coast line.  Not only that, but half of the approximately 250 naval officers were from the South and would resign their commissions to serve with the Confederates.   Lincoln and others on the Cabinet knew that they would have a lot of work to do in terms of obtaining ships and crews to make this plan work, not to mention worrying about legal issues that this action may cause.

My point in this is not to give you a history lesson (ok, maybe a little), but to say that how many times, we have hemmed and hawed about much simpler decisions on which qualified candidate to select, which software to pick, and similar things when we have greater resources and much less on the line.  Lincoln acted quickly and decisively and all he had on the line was the future of the country.

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One Response to “Sometimes, you have to act then worry.”

  1. Gary Nottingham Says:

    I have known this condition as analysis paralysis, and I have suffered from it often. It is a debilitating affliction and needs to be avoided at most (not all) costs.

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