The Broken Psychology of Excel Professionals
I have a lot of experience of working with Analysts, Accountants, Controllers, Project Managers, Management Consultants etc.
During my 12-year career, I’ve worked directly in those roles; I’ve worked with those professionals and have managed them too.
I hate to paint every one with the same brush but there is a commonality with all these professionals, who happen to work with Excel. None of them are revenue generators i.e. their roles don’t involve making money, but an element of their roles involves saving money, finding efficiencies, doing things more effectively.
That trait makes such professionals very analytical (especially the analysts, duh!). In case you don’t know, I am a recovering analyst. Analysts look to find the right answers; they will spend a long time doing so. The problem with spending too much time finding the right answers is that you are not spending time executing.
I coined something called the ‘Analysing – Mobilising spectrum’. You are somewhere between analysing (thinking about doing something) and actually doing it. Which do you think gets results?
Mobilising, 100% of the time.
“But Sohail, that’s all well and good but how do I know what to do without thinking about it?”
First of all, place the book ‘Blink’ by Malcolm Gladwell in your reading list. Gladwell skilfully makes the case that decisions based on limited information are mostly as good as or better than carefully considered and researched decisions.
Even better is to reach out to someone more qualified than you to ask for advice, a mentor figure if you will.
But, let me share with you the exact decision-making system I use: when facing a decision, I simply do not allow myself to think about it later, I make a call instantly. Either agree to it or eliminate it and never think about it again.
Now that doesn’t mean I do the task/action immediately, especially if it’s big, I will tackle it at the earliest opportunity BUT I relieve myself of the burden of thinking about it, i.e. Analysing. Decision making is quick in my world so I can get back to what matters: DOING.
Shades of grey are bad (unless they’re the 50 kind *creepy wink*), your ability to quickly boil things down to a yes or no will do wonders for your personal and professional life.
This concept is something I teach early on to professionals I mentor and it still gets met with fear…”But what if I make the wrong decision”.
The worst decision is the one that doesn’t get made.
I have helped a lot of folks with their Career Progression. Download my report: The Four Part Process to Landing A Higher Paying Job and I’ll share not just the process, but also the psychology and strategy that I have developed to consistently land offers for high paying roles over the last ten years.