Tough Choices

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At business school through the Entrepreneurial Bootcamp for Veterans with Disabilities Program at the Whitman School of Management through Syracuse University, one of our professors, Mike Haynie, taught us that as business leaders we’d have to make tough choices.

He used the example of Fat Tire beer and how the company had to decide if they wanted to keep their culture or sell their product to a larger distributor and manufacturer to the tune of a couple of million.

Dr. Haynie let us think about it. He let us discuss why we’d make one decision over the other.

It was good practice in the classroom to see how people respond to seemingly unpredictable choices that come up in the course of a business’ history.

I’m faced with one of those unpredictable choices right now.

The nuances of the circumstance, I’ll keep private, but I will share with you the internal struggle I am facing. It centers on accountability or grace.

I have to decide if I will hold one person accountable for his or her actions or if I will extend grace. Frankly, I wish this were a choice I didn’t have to face at all. Perhaps the owners of Fat Tire felt the same way when they were approached with the opportunity to sell their company and dismantle their culture or save their culture but at a financial loss. Maybe they didn’t want to make the choice at all. Maybe they wish they could have both. Maybe they wished that there were one person they could call on the phone and know that the answer on the other side were going to be the right one. I don’t know. I’m speculating. But I know I feel that way.

Previously I have erred on the side of grace. After trying to rectify a situation multiple times and multiple ways if I couldn’t change it I would let it slide. But this case, I can’t seem to find the same grace within me. I want accountability for this person. I just don’t know what it’s going to cost the company. And that’s a tough place to be.

But I learned in business school that we, as entrepreneurs and business leaders, will be faced with tough choices. We will have to make “either/or decisions,” and not “and” decisions at times.

So I ask you, the budding entrepreneur and business student, how to do make decisions? More importantly what methodology do you use to make impossible decisions?

About the Author
Named Top 100 Leaders by 2012 Magazine, Jasmine Grimm has been nominated for Central Penn Business Journal’s “Top 40 Under 40,” and The Lancaster Chamber’s ATHENA Award.

Jasmine founded Ruby, Inc. a personal styling business that teaches women how to dress for their body types and became a two-time nominee for Inc. Magazine’s Top 30 Under 30 Top Young Entrepreneurs in America. She won the 2013 SCORE Business Development Award, won the Central Penn Business Journal’s Top 25 Women of Influence Award in 2013 and the 2013 Leadership Award from the MS Society.

She has been a popular guest lecturer at the Maastricht Institute of Entrepreneurship and has been featured in Under 30 CEO and Productive Magazine, was the cover story for Harrisburg Magazine and her writing has graced National Geographic Television and Film, Harvard University and more.

She’s a 5,3,8,3 on the Kolbe A Index and her strengths include input, relator, learner, responsibility and achievement.

For more information visit her Google + Page.

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