Making the Tough Entrepreneurial Decisions: A Leader Must Stay True to Core Values

Key Takeaways:

  • Stay focused on the long term
  • Resist the urge for the “quick fix”

For those of you who have taken the plunge and have put it all on the line to be an entrepreneur, does the following scenario sound at all familiar?

You’ve been working ungodly hours for the past year, getting your startup to the point where things will really start to take off for you. The financing is in place, the mission-critical projects have been completed and all early indications are that you may just have a real winner on your hands. Things are just about ready to reach that autopilot stage where everything will start to hum and take care of itself.

And then it happens: The shoe drops.

Just when you think you have everything falling into place and all your hard work is finally coming together as planned, life will often throw a curve ball at you. It may be a top-producing manager offers his or her resignation. A relied-upon supplier gives notice that due to unforeseen circumstances they will miss their delivery dates, or worse yet not deliver at all.

In such times it is crucial to stay the course, stay true to your values and your mission, and do what is in the best long-term interests of the company. In such instances, there will often be a huge, almost overwhelming urge to find a quick fix, to slightly bend on your core beliefs as to what is right and wrong.

You will be tested by suppliers, by employees and by customers. Sometimes the test will come simply by someone trying to get a better deal; that’s fair. Other times it will be by a supplier thinking they have you over the barrel and trying to extract an inordinate price from you. How you react can have implications that can either make or break your company as your actions will send a clear message as to what you and your company stand for. 

Make sure that message is the one you want to deliver.  During times of stress, it is easy to overthink the potential pitfalls of the situation. With looming deadlines, market shifts and timelines all in the mix, the pressure can become almost unbearable.

That is, if you let it.

The values that brought you and your company this far are the same ones that will see you through whatever hiccup your business is experiencing at the moment. The key is to stay the course with a determined commitment and a strong confidence that it is the correct course. Your values have served you well thus far and will continue to do so as long as they remain your guiding light. 

Staying the course during such times will have the effect of building the foundation and infrastructure that will support and sustain your organization through the even bigger challenges that always accompany significant growth.  Believe me when I say that people will notice how and why you react to such situations in the way you do.  The employees and suppliers worth having as part of your internal and external infrastructure will see that you and this company are going places, and they will want to be part of that success. 

While such circumstances can be challenging, they can also help you to identify those that are worthy of being part of your process.

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August 18, 2021 at 7:47 am

This is EXACTLY the message I needed to land in my in-box this morning! I am challenged by management's need to "interfere" with operations and dictate the pace and direction of my project. I will stay the course, thing long-term and be true to MY core values!

August 18, 2021 at 9:21 am
Stacy Carr

The is a GREAT article, and very timely!


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