I was first introduced to this concept about 18 years ago when I got involved with venture capitalists. They were often harping on about their exits and exit strategies. In this context it meant invest some money and then, at a later date, exit from the investment having increased the monetary value along the way. Back then people were looking for a quick, high return exit. On the back of the dot com boom, there was hesitancy because many had gotten burned so to speak. Nevertheless, in terms of strategic thinking, it seeded an idea in me. I started thinking of my own exit. What was clear from the outset was that they were not looking to head for a golden wedding anniversary rather a kind of serial relationship. There was clarity, which was nice. You knew exactly where you stood. But to enter an intimate, non-business, relationship with one eye on the door and the suitcase packed, is never to commit fully to that relationship. It is doomed to fail. The two contexts are different.
Now many people get into all sorts of stuff without an exit strategy. It may never occur to them that they might need one. I doubt the SAS ever go into a behind the lines action without an exit strategy or strategies. There is consideration about entering in to theatre. In life we can get ourselves into all kinds of shit by not considering our exit strategy.
To use a mundane example. I have never used a satellite navigation system myself. Once when hiring a car from Avis at a Brussels central train station, the guy there tried to flog me a sat. nav. as an add on. To make some more cash. When I said that I did not want it, he had kittens. He almost did not let me take the car. How could I get into and out of a big city without a sat. nav.? Well I did. Because I have never used such a system, I have not come to rely upon them and as a consequence I very rarely get lost. I use my natural sense of direction, the sun and my intuition. I do not have an exit strategy for an addiction to satellite navigation technology. Should the GPS system go down, many would be lost, in the do do, and unsure as to how to use an ancient arcane thing called a map. I am not a doomsday prepper. But I do not like becoming reliant and dependent on technology. In this respect few have an exit strategy in respect of tech. addiction.
We get into all sorts of things without considering an exit strategy.
To give another example. Imagine that you have me under surveillance or are otherwise stalking me. If in the unlikely case, you might want to build a working relationship with me, you are a little stymied. How might you contact me without revealing you had been doing this? How long would it be before you let something slip, which I knew I had not spoken to you about? You might assume that I would be OK with this kind of behaviour, but I am not. And as the psychologist suggested I might have the unrelenting standards life trap. There is no exit strategy. If you had acted like a grown up and either followed or liked, everything would be above board and dandy. But by sneaking and snooping you have entered in to a way of behaviour. Of course, if there is no envisaged need to relate, this does not matter. Once you have committed by your actions to something it can be very difficult to extract yourself therefrom.
It is not uncommon for people to lie, exaggerate, cover-up and manipulate. But often they do this without considering an exit strategy. How do they get themselves out of a trap of their own making? There is no easy way.
Having cued this up:
Do I ever enter into something without considering my exit strategy?
Does this cause problems?
Is a lack of clarity perhaps at the root of all this?