3 Reasons Not to Make Lists

Yes the title of this post is a joke andhave you noticed how most posts are based around lists? Here are a few trending right now:

  • 9 behaviours that leaders we admire have in common
  • 8 ways to self-sabotage your business (before you even start)
  • 7 Things Employees Never Tell Their Bosses About Their Pay, But Should
  • 6 steps to effectively develop your people
  • 5 appropriate ways to boast about your business
  • 4 deadly management styles that absolutely destroy productivity
  • 3 must do’s in your 40s to ensure you are employed in your 50’s
  • 2 essential questions you need to ask yourself when assessing start up idea

And a partridge in a pear tree.

So nothing wrong with lists but there are three reasons to not make lists. Lists ignore the heart, the gut and the complex interaction of head, heart and gut.

We make all our important decisions not from our head but from our heart and gut. Get married, move state, change career, have a kid, move house. The mind likes lists. The heart doesn’t and as far as I can tell the gut can only count up to one. Yes/No. You don’t need a list to fall in love, be spontaneous or jump for joy. You don’t need a list to know if food tastes good or bad. Work your way through your list and you can fool yourself into thinking that you are ready to make a decision, take action or change your behavior when in fact this is just a mental clipboard to conduct research and (perhaps) procrastinate.

Business is emotional. If you don’t want to be a part of a herd of nerds here’s another approach.

The best decisions are made when you combine logic, emotion and gut feeling. There is even research now that suggests we have three brains not one, the other two being clusters of neurons located around the heart and through the gut (google mbraining to find out about this fascinating topic). Have you ever made a decision from your heart and been dead wrong? Have you ever followed a gut instinct and realized too late it has taken you in the wrong direction? Heart and gut are not superior to mind, just different. Use all three and you will be more likely to make the right decision.

So here’s how to make a list with a twist.

  1. Start with your heart. What does it tell you?
  2. Check with your logic box, do your research, make your lists.
  3. Review: combining heart and mind perspectives
  4. Check with your gut
  5. Review: combining heart, mind and gut viewpoints
  6. Decide

Bill Aronson is a thought leader who helps organisations to be authentic. He does this by telling businesses the truth (in the nicest possible way). Then he helps them build systems and processes to achieve an authentic culture. bill@enterprisedesigner.com +61 (0)400 27 4548.