The Myth of the Best Decision

The Myth of the Best Decision

Category : 2020

“Indecision may or may not be my problem.” (Jimmy Buffett)

Many people struggle when making life-impacting decisions, so when they finally determine their criteria, weigh their options, and make a choice—they want the process to be done. Over. Finished. Something to look at in the rear-view mirror.

If any decision should offer that aura of finality it should be voting in an election. When a ballot is slipped into a scanner or dropped into the mail, a selection is made, and the outcome will happen. There’s no asking to see the options again. Like it or not, you made a choice and will live with the unknowns for now, and the knowns when they emerge.

In a year that has been punctuated with the word “unprecedented,” it doesn’t surprise anyone that the 2020 U.S. presidential election didn’t offer the same finality one normally enjoys after casting a vote. While it looks like we know who gets the big chair behind a 140 year-old desk made from recycled timber, it will take some time for the electoral dust to completely settle.

Waiting and anticipating the impact of a decision you made is frustrating. Missing the benefit of a decision you avoid is self-limiting. Ultimately, a decision not made is a decision. Every savvy adolescent eventually discovers parental procrastination or the innocuous, “We’ll talk about it later,” are sophisticated ways adults say, “No.”

Psychologist William James observed, “There is no more miserable human being than one in whom nothing is habitual but indecision.” Any executive who has wrestled with solving a complex problem and choosing the option that they hope carries the right solution, knows the journey to the decision takes more energy than dealing with the impact of the choice. An unwillingness or inability to make a tough decision is physically and emotionally exhausting. The quest for the best decision is a laborious and disappointing journey. A carefully made choice with outstanding results rarely carries with it the quantified certainty of “best” because one cannot know what the other options would have yielded.

A pernicious pandemic, a mercurial market, and an erratic economy are generating professional opportunities shrouded in emotional uncertainty. For some leaders, obscurity breeds inertia and windows of opportunity are passed by without a peek behind the curtains. Telling themselves they are managing risks, these professionals allow uncertainty to keep them from considering a promising move to a new role, a different company, or a related industry.

Whatever the decision, it is more easily made when it is preceded by preparation. An executive considering a move in the dynamics of the current market is wise to proactively invest in a portfolio of a resume, biography and LinkedIn profile that communicates his or her marketing message with consistency, clarity, and conciseness. If you’d like to know how Leapfrog Executive Services can help, call us today.