The Effective Executive – Failing Before You Start


Veteran, new and aspiring executives need methods to be successful in their organization. There are 1000s of leadership podcasts, videos, blogs, and articles but few authors address what to do or how to do it.

We have witnessed many executives who are efficient (doing things right), but few executives are effective (doing the right things). We believe this is misguided and aim to remedy the shortfall with executives.

This is the 32nd episode of the Effective Executive podcast. In this episode, Tripp Babbitt how executives too often work on the wrong things and set themselves and their organizations up for failure.  Download our Effective Executive Starter Kit.

Show Notes

The Effective Executive – Episode 32

Episode 32 – Failing, Before You Start

Analytic vs Synthetic

How to Move Forward




[00:00:01] This is Episode 32 of the Effective Executive Podcast and YouTube channel, and this week I wanted to cover feeling before you start. And this has got to be one of the worst things that can happen to any executive, you know, going down the wrong path, a project that doesn’t make any sense, a strategy that doesn’t make any sense. And, you know, you get in too deep and then you’ve got to just kind of cover for it in order for it to work because, you know, you don’t want to be looked upon poorly and you’re in a position as an executive to be able to, you know, cover it up, put the put the body away and, you know, put the dirt on it and and bury it. But, you know, you get in too deep and then it’s too late and, you know, money is wasted and things of that sort. But so there’s a there’s some good news associated with this. And the good news is that you took action. It is what I referenced back and episode three when I spoke about errors of commission and errors of omission and errors of commission of commission is doing something that shouldn’t have been done. And I don’t find that to be the biggest problem. As I mentioned in episode three, the biggest problem is an error of omission.


[00:01:36] And that’s not doing something that should have been done. And, you know, being too risk averse for the good of the company, and especially in this day and age where disruption is going on constantly with innovation and things of that sort. So but but the willingness to take action really is not enough and. You know, my problem has always been whether as an executive or with the consultant has been errors of commission, which is again doing something that shouldn’t have been done. So I’ve always I’ve always been very I haven’t been very risk averse in my career. I’ve always kind of taken the the risky choice, so to speak. So it’s one of the reasons why I developed this method is one to kind of do you risk the decisions that we’re making? And I believe that you do this through the developing first, your synthetic thinking skills, your ability to look at the whole. And, you know, I’ve talked about this quite a bit. And there’s obviously in the playlist on my YouTube Channel one that says, start here. You must develop these synthetic thinking skills because you can’t build the whole by virtue of your analytical thinking, the ability to break things apart. And so developing these synthetic thinking skills will help you understand the you know, what the purposes of your organization, you know, it’ll help you develop that aim and purpose, which you can’t.


[00:03:29] I just I’ve never seen it successfully done from an analytical standpoint. That’s why you have to develop a synthetic thinking skills. But once you’ve identified the purpose of your organization, this in turn helps you identify the priorities of things that you should be working on. Now, I again, I take the approach of looking through a customer lens and looking through a thinking lens and then identifying some of the mismatches of things that, you know, when I look through a customer lens of what the customer sees, when they look at our organization or your organization, then they’re going to you’re going to start to identify some things that say, boy, there’s some disconnect there with our customer. And why did that happen? Well, we think this way and this is the way we’ve built our system as a whole. And here’s the barriers that we’ve put up in front of our customers. So developing, if you’re going to avoid failing, which you’re not completely, then you need to identify what those priorities are from the purpose or the name of your organization. And then you really need to build in, and I’ve been hitting this rather hard, probably the last few episodes is build, you know, a mindset or a culture of failure, being able to just sit there and and know that you may be going down the wrong path.


[00:04:59] But before you get the step 62, you know, in step two, that you need to pivot or scrap the original portion. And this is the hardest thing for organizations to do. They write a strategy. And, boy, we’re going to go to that strategy even if it’s a bad one or we’re going to start that project. And it’s it’s destined for failure, but we’re going to push through and then we’re going to celebrate. You said even if it doesn’t accomplish our purpose or any of the priorities that are needed. And so this is the reason that you have to go through a process as an executive to develop these synthetic thinking skills, which will in turn help you develop your aim or purpose in your organization, then identify the priorities that you need to be working on. Now, one other thing I want to throw in here, and it doesn’t necessarily fit in that line, is that you also need to be proactively innovating in your organization. For all the reasons I mentioned just a little bit earlier in this episode, which is you’re being disrupted. Somebody’s constantly looking at a new way to do things.


[00:06:13] And depending on the industry, you know, maybe and and an HVAC industry, not so much, but it certainly would give you a huge advantage. But there are many other industries, especially for those of you that are in the tech industry, they’re constantly innovating. And what was a great idea and made a lot of money yesterday is going to be gone tomorrow. It’s that fast in some industries that are being disrupted on a constant basis. And really, you know, all industries should have that mindset. There is always a better way to do something within your organization. So. My suggestion is, is to develop your synthetic thinking skills. I do I do it using a system map because it gets everybody on the same page, therefore helping you identify what your purpose is in your organization, set your priorities and then, you know, knowing that you go into things with the idea that what’s not working as opposed to we’re going to because it’s our project now and because it’s a strategy, we’ve got to move forward. That’s always a bad idea. So and then developing a system to proactively innovate. That’s the message I wanted to get out this week. This will help you not fail before you start or give you a sense of whether you’re working on the right things within your organization.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Get the Effective Executive Starter KitGet It Now!