There are times when your business is facing the truly big choices.

M&A (mergers & acquisitions) or taking your company public are the events that bring lots of press attention, but for a smaller company there are many more modest examples:

  • Hiring your first employee
  • Putting a management layer in for the first time
  • Retiring from your business
  • Expanding from single-location to multiple-location

These are major transitions because:

  • You’ve never done it before
  • It has major impact on your business for the long term
  • It’s going to be really painful to undo

The first thing we notice is that major decisions aren’t that common. Most of my clients have one every year or two. Or, if they’re just starting out, there’s going to be two or three in the first year.

So the first lesson is: Not everything is a major decision. Don’t analyze yourself to death if you could just try it and undo the decision if it doesn’t work out.

But when something is indeed a major transition for your business, take the time to do it right. Rarely will an opportunity entirely disappear if you spend some time to analyze, plan, and think through.

And whatever you do, learn from it. Even an opportunity passed by is a chance to learn something important. About the market, about your people, about yourself.

I find that major transition points are a trigger for people to work with a business coach, which is one of the most powerful assets you can find. Not because I’m smarter than you are; I’m not. Not because I have the answer for what you should do; I don’t.

It’s because I can help you think through a transition carefully, thoughtfully, and rationally. Including what’s happening with your emotions and how it will impact the people in your company.

Because leadership in this case is really about thinking, deciding, and then acting with confidence to bring your people through a scary transition.