This happens when people get so excited about a new idea that they immediately act on it, without thinking about the consequences. As a result, enthusiasm trumps common sense.
In 1985, Coco-Cola decided it would be great to shelve its beloved drink formula in favor of one that tasted more like Pepsi. The Coke Executives were so sure they had hit on their hands that they didn’t want to introduce the new beverage as an alternative to Coca-Cola but rather as a replacement.
Less than 80 days later, the old formula was back on the shelves and New Coke’s days were numbered. The Executives claimed none of their research showed the intense connection people felt for the original beverage formula. That was a very expensive mistake made at the speed of enthusiasm.
Another example happens on a smaller scale. A friend learns of the latest diet craze. Then he or she immediately throws out any foods that are not part of the diet, buys an expensive, long-term health club membership, and throws out any garments that could be described as “fat clothes,” even though they may fit.
A few days later, the diet is dropped in frustration, a gym membership goes largely unused, and more “fat clothes” are purchased. The diet not only ends at the speed of enthusiasm but likely with more pounds being added to the scale.
How do we Clear the Path of these poor decisions? Keep these tips in mind before you act:
What’s the Rush? Very few decisions need to made instantly. Sleep on them and see how you feel the next day. If there’s a tight deadline, consider whether it’s nothing more than a sales tactic.
Debate the Issue: Too many companies are stocked with people who agree with the boss. Test your hypothesis before acting on it. If you’ve got good people on your team, they should be able to argue both sides of an issue.
Stop Looking for a Shortcut: A decision made in excitement is often seen as a way to avoid hard work or pain. You need a miracle and will sign up for the first one that seems to appear before you. But as many have learned, a shortcut sometimes takes you on an unpleasant route. Don’t be afraid to work for your goals.
Bottom Line: Enthusiasm is important but it should not be the basis for your decisions.