Perhaps one of the most important sentences for any business owner to wield with confidence is, “Thanks. I got this.”
In those four words, they’ve shown they’ve taken the input and advice you’ve given them, processed it, and that they’re going to do what it takes to ensure things happen to their satisfaction. And that they happen on their terms.
Conversely, it can also mean that the carefully sculpted and not inexpensive business plan, media strategy, or investment forecast you’ve given them has been mentally wadded up and thrown over their left shoulder. It’s almost like you can hear them thinking, “Damn the torpedoes. I’ve gotta do this my way.” That happens when you make your living telling strong-minded and accomplished people how to run the business they’ve spent a huge portion of their life building. We must respect and admit our admiration for entrepreneurs who can listen to a room full of investors, a fleet of consultants and outside experts, and still have the confidence to follow their own instincts about running their business.
They’re the pilots up in the air flying that plane the best way they know how, while we’re all comfy and safe on the ground telling them what else is in the air and what we see from several thousand feet away. That’s not to say that serving as a sort of air traffic controller for lots of different businesses (or planes, to extend the analogy) is a kick-back-in-a-hammock-with-a-cocktail proposition either. Still, we’re not the ones up in the air trying to keep a giant mass of steel and petrochemicals in the air and moving forward.
I’m cozy in the control tower and giving my expert advice to people who often do listen and act on what I tell them, but they have the final say and can do it their own way while I move my attention over to the next plane to try to get them safely on the ground. That’s what I’ve been highly trained to do, and am really damn good at it.
Would I recommend that beginner pilots or someone flying in unfamiliar conditions disregard the expert advice of people who have worked their entire lives with the express purpose of knowing how to safely and comfortably get planes onto and off the ground? Of course not. But if they see something or know something about their equipment that takes their situation out of the sphere of perception of someone in the control tower, they have to act accordingly and act in the best way they know how.
I’m part of a highly trained team with the same short-term goal: safely getting that plane (and the next, and the next) on the ground.
You can’t fly a plane by committee, though, and the final decision on anything gets made by the businessperson with their hands on the yoke of their company. If they’ve got the knowledge and the years to make their own call after listening to everyone throwing data and best practices at them nonstop, then you have to respect the agency they’ve taken over the survival of their business – and everyone who’s on board that thing – as they come in for approach.