When in doubt, do without.

JoAnn shared the best advise she ever received from her grandmother; “When in doubt, do without.”  The advice rings in her ears when she shops, when she ponders taking a vacation on a credit card and most recently when she was approached by a friend to get a tattoo.  The advice has saved JoAnn thousands of dollars and taught her self-discipline.  Clearly, neither JoAnn nor her grandmother is impulsive.

Consider by contrast an entrepreneur, the energetic, spontaneous, quick decision maker who gets things done.  This person is impulsive, easily distracted and often has difficulty planning for the future.  However, this risk-taking behavior does enable her to seize opportunities under stress.

Entrepreneurs gamble their finances, reputations and self-esteem in the hopes of building a better business and making greater profits.  A common trait of business owners is impulsiveness.

Research by Adrian Furnham shows impulsive people are stable and sociable.  They are sensitive to reward cues, but curiously insensitive to punishment cues.  Impulsive individuals are appealing; they don’t mess around and they embrace change.  They go for quick rewards and seem to have unlimited energy.  They think on their feet, rapidly converting thought into action.

But impulsives can also be lethal.  They need someone to temper their enthusiasm, to consider consequences and to plan ahead.  They are less safety conscious, throwing caution to the winds with their fast tempo and search for the next thrilling reward.

 Are you an impulsive? 

Consider the 10 simple statements below:

1.I often do things without thinking
2.I am not very serious minded
3.I usually make up my mind very quickly
4.I constantly yearn for new and exciting experiences and sensations
5.I am pretty happy-go-lucky
6.I can put my thoughts into words quickly
7.I admit I often lose interest in things I have started
8.I really get impatient waiting
9.I don’t like and am not good at business planning
10.I am not the person to “sleep on it” before making a decision.

If you said “Yes” to 7 or more, you would be called impulsive. But you must walk the fine line between opportunity and caution.   Remember, like JoAnn’s grandmother, you are a role model.

Be aware of the impact of impulsiveness on your organization. If someone in your company is impulsive, focus on goals, concentrate on safety and provide common-sense leadership.

The road is easier together,
Linda

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