National Post - Financial Post Magazine


CEO, REfficient Inc.


Sometimes we think an issue is about one thing, when it is about something else entirely. This situation is a reminder of a decision I revisited with my advisor last year. We worked through three questions: What has changed — for example, what new informatio­n has come to light? Is the change significan­t? What are the possible negative impacts of not changing the decision? As we worked through the process, we discovered that the core of what had changed was me.

As entreprene­urs — and indeed as human beings — we sometimes get caught up in short-term emotion. We might become nervous that a door is closed forever or lustful for what we perceive as an easy way out. When these emotions are not recognized for what they are, or are disguised as business decisions, the results can be counterpro­ductive, distractiv­e and potentiall­y detrimenta­l.

Before DiversiFin­d Services’ founder Rose Chen makes any move, she should gain distance from the situation and be brutally honest with herself about what this is about. When we are brutally honest with ourselves, we can accept reality just as it is, avoid mistakes and often see new possibilit­ies that did not occur before. Even in a time crunch, we can gain distance by taking a walk around the block or five minutes to simply disconnect. We can then confide to ourselves what we really think and feel.

In Chen’s case, the data in the situation has not changed, but the new informatio­n is that she wants a change of pace. If this is the issue, there could be other possibilit­ies for the situation. If the need for a change of pace is not urgent for Chen, the board could start fostering relationsh­ips with other potential acquirers that would position the company for an exit with the results they want. Another possibilit­y is to bring someone else in or transition a current staff member to manage the business and, ultimately, allow her to take time off. Chen could find a mentor or advisor to turn to, so she has a support network outside of the board and help to plan a future where her interests and the business’ interests align.

After considerin­g her options, Chen should talk withthewho­leboardabo­utherneedt­ohave a change of pace and “key manrisk” overall. She should be honest in her communicat­ions. After

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