T.J. from Chicago, Ill. writes: Rebecca, Lately, due to delays and disruptions in our distribution channels, my co-founder has become more vocal about wanting to shift direction and try new ideas. His excitement is causing confusion and anxiety amongst our small team. I believe we have to stay steady on the track we’re on while entertaining options. Big shifts feel premature right now. How can I help him stay grounded?

The turbulence in the economy is a cause for concern among small and large businesses. As creativity has saved many a startup from extinction during troubled times, it can also be a danger to shift direction without careful consideration.

T.J.,  encourage your co-founder to seek out hard data to support his new direction, and to do in private without stressing out the team. His sleuthing may uncover a wealth of information that could justify a change in focus.

In his excitement, however, he may overlook the potential losses of staff, resources, customers and the costs of executing a new strategy. What is the competition up to? How does the new direction match up with the mission and values of the business? Compare that data with the advantages of staying on your present course. Get feedback from trusted mentors seasoned in the industry.

New ideas are welcome as long as all factors and perspectives are taken into account.

Having trouble managing a valued, but impulsive co-worker? I can help. Contact me at

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