A famous philosopher once said, and I paraphrase, ‘Never be in a hurry. For when you do, you fall from the creative plane, down to the competitive plane. And, in so doing, you lose your positive energy, your poise and your power. You get into the mad scramble with others – and your objectivity, reason and clarity of thought go out the window.’
Sage advice. But, also so very timely. In discussing the current state of the deal market with twenty or so professionals across a variety of PE firms over the past couple weeks, one observation stands out above all others. Wow! There’s a frenetic activity buzzing about that has not be seen since around 2006/7, if even then. There’s a mad scramble to evaluate pitch books, front run deals, prepare memos for investment committees, engage in diligences of all sorts, etc. etc.
And, it is against this backdrop that I am reminded of another saying – one that I learned in my early consulting days a number of years ago. That is, ‘ Be careful – Don’t let activity crowd out thought.’ So, as you head into that next zoom call on the next half hour, and speed through several more meetings, pitches, calls and more – try taking a step back. Sometimes less is more. Sometimes doing just a few good things the right way – will get you where you want to go. You can be more effective and get a superior result than trying to do it all and falling into the frenetic mad scramble. Not to mention, you might also have a life.