In investing, mistakes in the market happen by allowing fear and greed to drive your decision making. You, or the market, chase bad investments because of greed or you run away from an excellent investment because of fear. Avoiding fear and greed is also important when managing a business. You could be chasing after the wrong customer because of greed or not making the right management decisions because of fear.
Keep Fear in Check.
A business can lose focus on its people and employees by being afraid to trust its employees with information. You may be nervous about letting employees know when you’ve had a bad month of sales. However, by doing so, you might find a solution that keeps it from happening in the future. Alternatively, you could be afraid to publish employee salaries. Even though that is the best way to make sure you are paying your employees fairly. As a manager, you need to trust that your employees will have the appropriate response to this type of information. Don’t be afraid of increasing transparency at your company. By increasing transparency, companies improve decision making and performance.
Greed can be just as destructive as fear when managing a company. You can grow too much too fast and put pressure on your employees to compromise on quality or your core values. It may also force you to hire the wrong person or the right person in the wrong role. If the management team is too focused on a single measure of success, like revenue, it may also cause the company to take on poor customers that are not profitable. Keeping your team in check by asking why you are growing is the first step to making sure you avoid these mistakes. If your answer comes back that you are growing because you want more money you may want to take a step back. To respond to the Gordon Geckos of the world, greed is not good. It can lead to a financial struggle or the end of your business.
It is essential to keep fear and greed in check, but also to find balance. It isn’t reasonable to think that you will always avoid fear and greed while managing a business. We are all human, and these are typical motivations we all feel. The key is to make sure you are aware of when you are afraid or greedy. Then you can manage them to a balance. This balance allows you to move forward as a company while managing the risks associated with both feelings.
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