It is a classic wimpy boss situation where a crisis is demanding you to make a decision. The employee is getting ready to revolt or walk off the job. The manager is under fire with his boss to cut costs. The salesperson is watching negotiations with the customer falter. Two employees have rubbed each other the wrong way for the last time and begin a shouting match in the office. Whatever the situation may be, I am sure you can write your own script.

You are at the breaking point; the escalating situation has been brewing for some time. Fear is paralyzing you. While you want to blame it on some unforeseen circumstance; deep down you know it’s your own procrastination at fault. The signs have been there along the way, you have just chosen to ignore them. The thought of dealing with the situation is unpleasant and fraught with conflict. You have been listening to you inner voice; rationalizing that you need more information, things will calm down on their own or ….if you make the wrong decision, things will only get worse.

As you feel that sinking pit in your stomach, the thought of making a decision increases your stress levels and you begin to fast dial any resource you have inside or outside the company for help. Your internal bargaining voice kicks into overdrive…”if only I can find someone to help me, I won’t let this happen again.”

But…wait. Someone is stepping in to help you. Whew!

You’ve found someone who can handle this situation! And sure enough, they come in and solve the problem. The human resource manager or consultant you have leaned on schedules a meeting with you to figure out why the situation got to where it did. Secretly, you know, it was your own indecision. You tell them you understand the problem and that you will make an effort to correct the situation proactively. Once they leave, the pressure is off.

A couple of weeks later, you receive a call to check on your progress. Hmmmm…where was that plan?

We can try to avoid making choices by doing nothing, but even that is a decision. – Gary Collins