It Is Better To Be Boldly Decisive and Risk Being Wrong… Moats Kennedy Quotes


Moats Kennedy quotes

The Benefits of Being Boldly Decisive

Why did I say “It is better to be boldly decisive and risk being wrong than to agonize at length and be right too late,” you ask?  I’m Marilyn Moats Kennedy and I can explain.

I was speaking for the American Marketing Association and I kept hearing “I need more information to make a decision.”   I kept thinking, just CHOOSE.

Options as a Triangle

When you come to a decision point, you often have a range of options.  I think of decision options as a triangle, where at its wide side you initially start with many options.

moats kennedy quotes "It is better to be boldly decisive"

But as time passes, options typically fall away or are lost.  Initially you might have a choice between three suppliers.  If you wait and keep needing more information, some of them will get fed up and you will be left with the most desperate one.

Own the Choice

In my judgment, it is often better to make a choice when you have alternatives.  If you wait and keep demanding more information, you may end up not having any choice at all.

I say, get out there and own the choice.  Act so you can move to the next level.  Often you can adjust later if it’s wrong.

Why We Wait

We fear being wrong and so we wait.  We fear making a decision.  We are afraid of being seen to be wrong.

This is prevalent in corporate America, where the people who seem to get ahead are those who make no unforced errors.

I, on the other hand, think that you make a bigger mistake by waiting.  Fix it later if needed. You are seen as a leader when you make a choice.

Press and Tweets

After I delivered this quote in a media interview, I recall that the quote was picked up by the Wall Street Journal, The Financial Times and Readers Digest, among others.  

Of all the Moats Kennedy quotes, this one is also resent in numerous Tweets each month on Twitter.

It appears to be my legacy.  I suppose I should have it engraved on my tombstone.  Because I do believe it.

Over to You

What do you think?  When is it NOT better to be boldly decisive?  Let’s debate this in the comments.


Ask Marilyn to Speak to Your Group

Does your team need to be shaken up and moved off the dime?  Contact me and let me at ’em.


Filed under Office Politics