Context matters. I appreciate that there is a lot of anger and resentment in the world today. In some regards, it feels like these are unusually scary times, especially for the more vulnerable amongst us. It can be easy when confronted with tragedy or great difficulty to lose your sense of context. Because life is […]
Too much judgment can be dangerous! It feels like we live in a world today where rushing to judge the behaviors and actions of others without all the facts has become the norm. It is especially convenient when the person in question thinks or looks different than us. America is still a place where you’re […]
I often observe many leaders who think they are the exception to the rule. Maybe in some regards they are, but not across the board. Moreover, not all exceptions are created equal or warrant consideration. There are some obvious rules of personal and business behavior that we should all respect or at least take heed […]
We all know the danger of rushing to quick judgments or making false assumptions about things, but we continue to do it anyway. I’ve heard many speakers talk about the reptilian portion of our brain that is focused solely on survival and keeping us out of harms way. In essence, we are hardwired for self-protection. However, in a world where our day to day survival is rarely in question, we need to be careful about allowing the most primal part of our thought process to have too much control. A knee jerk or gut reaction to stimuli is often not a wise strategy and can actually end up being problematic.
The problem is that life is complex not simple. There are many reasons why things do or do not happen. At some point we all are faced with difficult choices with no clear answers. Very often we make these decisions under some level of duress and/or with imperfect information or unclear guidelines. Life does just happen sometimes and navigating it can be as much of an art as a science.
We all reach a point where we have to make decisions based on imperfect and sometimes even contradictory information. There is no “perfect” decision. Whether it is who we hire, when we enter new markets, how much to invest in new products and technologies, when to expand or contract a business relationship, or any other number of issues, leadership ultimately comes down to judgment. In addition, in our personal lives we will all hit crossroads, where the decisions we make will literally have an impact on the rest of our lives. There is always the risk you may make the wrong decision, but you try to mitigate this risk through sound judgment.
One of a leader’s primary roles is to make the important decisions. Of course, these decisions should not be made without the input of the affected parties and/or others with expertise in a given area. It is also important that these decisions are made with an appreciation of the risks and benefits related to a given situation. And, the bigger the risks or potential benefits the more thoughtful the decision making process should be.
A well functioning democracy requires the active participation of its citizenry. To be actively involved, one must take the time to become informed and make reasonable judgments as to who best represents their interests and is most qualified to fulfill the needs of their community, county, state and country.