You’re very black and white.
Somehow I know this unsolicited comment isn’t a compliment. I consider the possible replies.
You’re a fuzzy thinker.
No, responding in kind would not be kind. Or prudent. In a marketing environment where there are only shades of grey, my tendency to say that some things are binary — true or false, feasible or not — is not a good cultural fit, even though it’s part of what enables me to shepherd a gaggle of marketers through a hard-deadline procurement process where the customer tends to be a little, umm, black and white.
Maybe that’s why I found one of Seth’s blogs this week so interesting.
When a project appears to be in limbo, in a permanent holding pattern,
where sunk costs meet opportunity costs,
where no one can figure out what to do…
Cancel it with a week’s notice.
Ouch. Talk about your black-and-white thinking. Fish or cut bait, guys.
Seth goes on to say that one of two things will happen:
- The threat of cancellation will generate a groundswell of support and renewed effort, and the project will get moving again.
- The threat of cancellation will become the actuality, and at least you won’t be stuck any longer.
There’s lots of room in work and in life for both/and, especially when it comes to attitudes. For integrating different points of view. For accommodating multiple objectives, even if none of them completely. For recognizing that nothing – no one, no process, no product or service – is all good or all bad. Even for being a little less dogmatic about what can be accomplished. For, you know, a little nuance.
But equally, there’s lots of room for either/or, especially when it comes to actions. For getting off the fence. For not playing around. For not being satisfied with staying stuck. For deciding what things I want to commit to. For, you know, a little black and white.
Do or do not.
There is no try.