RSS Weighing Costs and Benefits: Brain Food for Professionals

This week I have the pleasure of introducing a guest blogger, Vicki Gray. Vicki is senior vice president and relationship banking manager with Pacific Continental Bank. Those of you who are residents of the Pacific Northwest will find particular resonance in her post. Vicki draws a comparison between our gorgeous-then-gloomy climate and cost-benefit analysis.

In this edition of Musings with Mitch, I want to talk a little about cost-benefit analysis in the professional realm, using a few personal comparisons.

I love Eugene. When I was out on my morning run the other day — a sunny summer morning — not only did I have a smile on my face, I noticed every other runner I passed on the path smiled back, nodded or said hello. It was as if to say, “Hi there! Isn’t this a beautiful day? Aren’t we lucky to live in Eugene”? There is an unspoken acknowledgment in Eugene that, while our sunny days are numbered, we are committed to making the most of those days that summer brings. We understand and accept that winter is inevitable, so we are committed to taking full advantage of the beautiful and bright days of summer and fall. This observation made me think about the friendly attitude I so often encounter in Eugene and the cost-benefit analysis we must all consider when living in an area that is plagued by rain so much of the year.

When I think about where I live, I feel a combined taste of a little sweet and a little bitter. I consider myself lucky to live in Eugene. My husband and I relocated here nearly twenty years ago, and I have never regretted the decision. Admittedly, there are times when the gray skies and pouring rain compel me to ask myself, “What were we thinking? Is it really worth it to deal with all this rain?” But then, the sun peaks out of the clouds, and summer eventually returns, I know that the rain and clouds are a small price to pay to live in such an amazingly beautiful area.

This same cost-benefit analysis is an important factor that effective leaders in the professional realm take into consideration on many levels. Whether you are hiring a new employee, looking to foster growth in a team member or professional mentee, looking to expand your business, or purchase equipment for your company, it is important to take into account the cost and benefit that will be felt because of your actions and decisions. Ask yourself, “Does the real benefit outweigh the cost of making this decision?”

A few factors that should be taken into account when you find yourself weighing benefits against cost.  For example: an employee who may not meet your expectations on a regular basis.

  1. Appreciate and consider the benefits. Every person brings strengths to the team/company? Do the benefits of such strengths outweigh the costs of the negative aspects?
  2. Consider what may be lost. Take into account what would be lost if the individual were to leave the company.
  3. Understand what you can – and cannot - change in the situation.
  4. Keep your eyes and ears open from the beginning of the professional relationship.
  5. Remain flexible and open to positive changes in their behavior or attitude.
  6. Reward individuals for exceptional behavior.
  7. Seek out the strengths the person has to offer.

Analyzing the costs and benefits related to managing professional challenges is a crucial step in making calculated decisions that will benefit the company as well as the team.

As autumn approaches, I am mindful of this cost benefit analysis in my own life. Change is in the air, the rain will be upon us soon, but I know that summer will return with all its glory again next year.

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Home About Archive Mitch HagstromMitch Hagstrom
Executive Vice President
Chief Banking Officer
Pacific Continental Bank

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