Decisions drag out, and teams slow down to a crawl, when leaders hesitate to push initiatives to the point of no return. To build and maintain momentum, you must recognize these points and bravely step across them.
A point of no return is like an invisible force field. It’s a moment which, when crossed, signals that there is no turning back. The team is now committed. Everything is a “go”.
If you want to build and maintain energy and momentum you must recognize, and cross over, these three decision-making points of no return…
1. Making a declaration to the team, and its leaders
You can talk about a decision as long as you want. But at the moment you make a commitment, one way or the other, to the team, it’s very difficult to turn back. You’ve crossed the point of no return.
Once you do, turning back will be almost impossible without taking a significant hit to your credibility.
2. Committing significant resources to the initiative.
As long as there are no costs involved, there’s not always an incentive to move. But resource allocation represents a point of no return.
Think of it like the moment you make a non-refundable down payment on a house. Once you have allocated funds, it’s no longer simply an item of discussion. The die has been cast.
3. Issuing a public statement.
On May 25th, 1961, U.S. President John F. Kennedy announced to the nation, “I believe that this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the Moon and returning him safely to the Earth.”
At that point, there was no turning back. Everyone knew that a decision point had been made and things accelerated until Kennedy’s goal was achieved.
It’s a bold move, but if you want to see a decision pick up speed, make it widely known. When you do, things could begin to move at a break-neck pace.
As long as you stay on the safe side of these points of no return, you can carry on doing your research and meetings, which will feel like leadership. but the reality is, you’re not making progress.
So accelerate the momentum of your team by pushing decisions to the point of no return.
And then have the courage to step across.