Baseball fans know most of the great homerun hitters also have unusually high strikeout rates. The most revered of these players Babe Ruth once advised a fan: “Never let the fear of striking out get in your way.” But most of us are afraid of striking out, so much so that we hesitate to swing hard enough to hit homeruns. Instead, we wait for some perfectly pitched ball and swing just hard enough to ensure contact. Taking mighty swings is not for the timid among us — there’s always the chance we’ll strike out.
Beth, a newly appointed 30-year old sales manager for an investment broker, was getting terrible results. New advisors weren’t staying with her, and the sales of her veteran advisors were declining drastically.
I discovered that Beth was agonizing over every decision. She repeatedly sought help from her irritated regional manager and made excuses to her advisors about why she didn’t have immediate answers for them.
“I usually have a gut feeling about the right response,” she told me, “but then I question it. And I end up not being able to make a decision.”
“Would your situation be any worse if you just gave in to that gut feeling and took your chances?” I asked her.