THE OTHER DAY AT LUNCH I sat with four people I didn’t know well but each holds a leadership position in unrelated middle-market-sized companies.

TGIM quick-start bonus idea: It never ceases to bewilder me why folks from the same company or long-time pals clump together and “talk amongst themselves” at Chamber breakfasts or Rotary or the like. Unless business or social circumstances force you to do otherwise, in situations where a number of people have gathered for whatever reason, sit with the folks you don’t know. You greatly improve the odds of gaining new and useful information.

So back to this new lunch bunch: Three of the execs were worried and fretful, constantly elaborating on how much work was waiting for them back at the office, pressures they were under, and so on. Two of that three couldn’t keep from checking their handhelds. One kept texting responses and leaving the table to take calls of suspect urgency.

The fourth exec though was -

A revelation. In his early fifties, he seemed to be in complete control of himself - and his personal and business problems. I later checked with folks who knew his situation better than I and they confirmed that assessment was fundamentally accurate.

I was impressed to the point that I later asked him his secret.

Here’s what he said:

“These days, almost every business person I know will tell you, with little or no urging, how much pressure he (or she) is under given the state of the economy. And, no doubt we all do have problems - lots of them and more complex than ever. That’s the way things are in business today. What’s more, these problems are going to be getting more - not less - complex in the foreseeable future.

“As a result, I guess griping and groaning and appearing all so indispensible and frazzled have almost become an executive badge of honor.

“Not for me though. I use a simple, age-old One-Two Punch to remedy my business challenges and lick stress:

#1: I gather the facts.


“It doesn’t make business problems any less complex. But it does help me handle them without cracking or wearing down under the strain. And I’m sure you’ve noticed, as I have, how many ‘executives’ today become almost paralyzed when faced with a decision that must be made.

“So that’s my ‘secret.’ I don’t delay decisions. I don’t keep shunting things into a follow-up mode. I don’t hold meeting after meeting to discuss a problem.

“I DO GET THE FACTS AND ACT ON THEM. By doing this I don’t have to carry the tremendous weight of unsolved problems around with me all the time.

“Look, I know that many of my peers may dismiss this as being overly simplistic and naïve. Well, it is simple, no question about that. Whether or not it’s naïve, I can’t say. What I can say - and do - is, the system works for me.

“I believe it would work for most of us.”

I believe that as well. In the last great world-shaking economic downturn FDR counseled, “Do something. If it works, do more of it. If it doesn’t, do something else.” The One-Two Punch is a clear-as-glass way to do just that.

TGIM Takeaway: Delaying decisions and action on them feeds the problems you face. To lick stress, take thoughtful action. A vision without action is a daydream. (Caution: Acting on a daydream before thoughtfully establishing its validity can be a nightmare. Prepare to act; don’t just react.)

TGIM IDEA IN ACTION: Consider your options deliberately but don’t get bogged down in deliberation. Calculate, and then take calculated risks.

Put the One-Two Punch to the test. Please share your thoughts and outcomes on the blog.

Author's Bio: 

Eric Taylor is the Chief Inspiration Officer of and founder of New Jersey based Empowerment Group International. He delivers more than 100 energized and interactive keynotes, workshops and seminars each year to corporations, associations and tradeshows. He is the author of the Energy Passport, Co-creator of the Best Year Ever! Success System and Co-author of The Complete Sales Training Encyclopedia. To get complete details about Eric’s background, his products and services, visit Eric Taylor’s Blog and review Eric Taylor’s Profile.