How do we stay smart when so many things are coming at us so fast and so hard? You know, the ones the makes our blood freeze. One way is the daKAT method that can keep you smart in scary situations and go from a state of fear to reach a state of trust. And trust is the ultimate way to cancel fear.

Ever been under the gun where people and events are pressuring you to make a decision, and you make the wrong decision? That’s me. More than once. How many of you thought, that was a one-off, I won’t do that again…and you do. Yeah, that’s me too. Again. It’s disheartening.

But us business owners and founders are always under the gun. There’s outside pressures of inflation, increased interest rates, and continuing supply chain issues are constantly invading our space and our companies. Then there’s inside pressures. Not that employee again. Or the project that came from…Mordor. If we can’t prevent problems, then we can be proactive.

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Show Notes

The daKAT method that can keep you smart in scary business situations and is an acronym for:

  • Don’t make fear based decisions
  • Ask Questions to get clarity of what’s going on.
  • Know the facts and lever points of the situation.
  • Action now.
  • Trust things will turn out for the better.

‘d’: Don’t Make Fear Based Decisions

It doesn’t mean to ignore the fear or pretend it doesn’t exist…it’s just foolishness not to believe that fear is not a powerful emotion that people have inside them. A remedy is we need to deal with fear before fear takes over.

‘a’: Ask Questions to Get Clarity of What’s Going On

Two of my favorite questions are asking “why?” and asking “what then?” to fully see what’s going on to make the right decision. This technique and principle is nothing new. I was young when I first heard about it from an old, gray-haired professor, who said that he heard it when he was young from an old, gray-haired professor.  This technique has worked for generations.

For example, a construction owner finds out that his least performing crew did not install a door for a customer and the customer is furious. So the upset owner goes out and asks the crew what happened? The answer: we didn’t have a door to install.  Why? The lumber company didn’t have one to pick up. So the owner calls the lumber company. The shipment did not come in.  Why?  The distributor didn’t have one.  Why?  The door hasn’t arrived from the manufacture. Why? The Chinese government closed the factory because of COVID.

‘K’: Know the facts and lever points of the situations

Asking questions is one way to get to know the facts. It is also important to know what the levers and variables that are creating the situation.

Example: you own a manufacturing company and you cannot produce enough widgets to keep the customers happy and everybody in the company is stressed out. You have a scarcity of widgets. So you ask yourself why do I have a scarcity of widgets? Is it because there’s not enough inventory, not enough workers, or is it because there’s too many orders?  Rather than panicking after the last irate customer call, you start asking questions and investigating. Turns out that you have enough workers, but too many orders and supply chain problems. Neither one of those you have full control over, but you at lease know that it’s not your company messing it up. One lever point is customer expectations. Another lever point is increasing employees to produce more.

‘A’ Take Action Now.

Action counters fear. Continuing our example of a manufacturing company owner. The owner, after figuring out the levers can be pulled to improve the scarcity of widgets, takes action and makes two changes. The first one is in the order process. It attempts to improve customer relationships by updating delivery dates and the second change is deciding to add a second shift and increase prices to help cover the costs of hiring more employees

‘T’: Trust things will turn out for the better

After the action has just started, there is a phase of trust until the action and changes have been completed. This takes time and patience. For our example owner, there is need to trust the employees to do their thing and that customers to co-operate. Trust that the customers will stay when they hear of the action plans. Trust that the hiring process well go well.





Poem by Rudyard Kipling “If–“

Article on Fear based decision making

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