- Matthew M. Thomas
- Read Time: 3 mins
We’ve probably all seen the adventure movie scene where the main protagonists suddenly find themselves surrounded by hostile armed forces, encircled, and not sure how they are going to find their way out.
At that point, typically, everyone has their weapon out, and everyone is at high alert.
There are some very carefully worded conversations between the surround-ers and the surrounded. A negotiation happens, with the surrounded party trying its best to find its way free (or at least not dead), and the surround-ers not necessarily buying it.
What happens next, of course, depends on the plot of the movie. Sometimes they are captured, sometimes they are rescued, sometimes they join forces, sometimes they are robbed of valuables, and so on.
But there are two things that no one does in these situations:
- They don’t just start swinging wildly, or shooting at random, hoping to hit something.
- They don’t just freeze up, not doing anything, hoping that they’ll somehow get away without too much loss or damage.
We often face the feeling of being surrounded – with our forces and resources overwhelmed – as a part of leadership. Multiple critical business decisions have to be made at the same time, and we end up feeling stuck. Taking a crack at one thing prevents us from being able to deal with another, it seems. And oftentimes, the things we are dealing with all interconnect in a way that prevents us from really seeing a way forward.
And yet, despite being the protagonists in the story, when we find ourselves overwhelmed by a large, surrounding force of critical decisions, we often take two very different actions than our adventure movie compatriots.