How To Make The Best Decision You’ve Never Made

                                                                                  BLP0001456 - Man holding a stop sign

Leaders like movement.  They have a bias towards action.  The chief characteristic for those in leadership is that by definition they are taking people somewhere.  Therefore, conflicting feelings spring forth in us as times arise when the best decision is to do nothing at all or just say “No”.  Leaders frequently struggle with signs that say STOP, Yield, or Do Not Enter. 

John Heyman of SI.com recently looked at the top 20 decisions in baseball over the last year. As you break down his list, it is interesting that the most common trend was six of the decisions were to stand pat or make no decision at all.  Those decisions were:

  1. The San Diego Padres’ decision not to trade Adrian Gonzalez and Heath Bell.
  2. The AL West leading Texas Rangers’ decision not to fire manager Ron Washington.
  3. The Detroit Tiger’s decision to keep Magglio Ordonez in line-up and let him achieve his incentive bonuses.
  4. The New York Mets’ decision to retain manager Jerry Manuel.
  5. New York Yankees pitcher Andy Pettitte’s decision to continue playing.
  6. The Atlanta Braves’ decision to re-sign pitcher Tim Hudson. 

It’s been said many times in sports that often the best trades are the ones not made“I’ll have the usual” is what these teams said.  The following are some guidelines that I use to say “No” or not to make a decision at all when it comes to personal decisions.

  1. My wife feels uncomfortable about the decision or we are not in agreement.  God gives our wives a sixth sense about decision-making and I have learned the hard way the results of not listening to her protective counsel.
  2. The option does not allow my family to thrive.  If the decision benefits me but forces my family to regress educationally, relationally, or spiritually, then we decline the opportunity.  The only leadership model that is lasting is that of a servant leader.  If the decision is made for selfish reasons or does not serve them well, we must decline. See The Greatest Leadership Role for more insights.
  3. What Does The Bible Say.  What does God say about what I’m facing?  Here’s what I know – Jesus Christ knows me better than I know myself and wants the best for me.  
  4. Does It Align With My Core Values.  This is very closely tied to the Bible.  If the options we are considering don’t line up if who we are as a family and what we are trying to accomplish collectively, we decline.  See Lies Men Believe for additional thoughts.
  5. Does It Make Financial sense.  Whether it is purchasing a home, going into debt or not, or making a career choice, good decisions can be made using a logical foundation.  Quick note, the best book on money ever written is the Bible.  It is packed full of sound guidelines.  Also, the best financial coaches I know are Joe Sangl and the team at I Was Broke. Now I’m Not.  Check them out.

Let’s take some lessons from Major League Baseball and make some great decisions by making no decisions at all.  What are some of the best decisions you never made?

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About Brian Dodd on Leadership

I am a church stewardship and leadership consultant for INJOY Stewardship Solutions. This blog combines my personal passions of church, sports, pop culture and family into a single leadership resource. I trust your time on this site will create conversations and add value to your life.

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  1. Most Popular Posts of June 2010 « Brian Dodd On Leadership - 07/01/2010

    […] How To Make The Best Decision You’ve Never Made […]

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