My dear friend and colleague Jack Speer of Delta Inc. in the USA wrote an excellent blog that made me reflect on my decision-making processes.
As a child, decisions were easier. They were based on a few fundamentals:
How much does it cost? Can we afford it? What will the neighbours think? Will it get me in trouble?
As adults, here are a few more principles that may be helpful:
Decisions Are About Ways to Move Ahead.
The decisions that matter should be stepping stones that take us to the next part of the life we’re building. Sometimes life takes a 180degree turn, and we take a different direction to where we thought we were headed. Generally speaking, however, the decisions we make today build on the decisions we made yesterday and hopefully move us forward.
Logic Is Useful, But Checking In With People Is Clever.
Good decisions are informed by facts but are impacted by our thoughts and the people around us. Being aware of other people’s opinions and ideas can expand our decision logic and limit our biases and blind spots. Our decision-making process may then uncover information we had not addressed nor thought of.
Group Thinking Kills Good Decisions.
As a species, human history has its foundation in groups and tribes who wanted stability and were naturally not attracted to change. So be aware that you may have to fight for your ideas. The quality and the effectiveness and passion with which you present your decisions will determine your success.
Decision-making is complex and difficult and involves many factors, some contradictory to each other.
Making good decisions requires good research and fortunately, facts about any subject today are just a click away. You just have to know where to look.
Every good decision should also involve a personal ‘poll’ of the best minds that surround us. Family, tradition and religious beliefs all shape our decisions. The influences of those around us help us to optimize opportunity and minimize risk.
Decisions almost always carry an element of risk, which many people are uncomfortable with. They would rather have someone else make the decision, even when they don’t agree with it. However the more willing you are to make decisions, the more control you have over your life and circumstances.
I believe that the more I empower myself to make decisions (even though I make mistakes), I’ll always come out better by stepping up and deciding. Ultimately, I know that I will protect my interests better than anyone else.
So give it your best shot. Decide and do it!