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We spend too much time worrying. Was the decision I made right, or was it wrong? Why are so often caught paralyzed in thought, unable to make a simple decision; Pepsi or Coke, Venti or Grande, Apple or Windows? I wish all our decisions were so minuscule. But this simple immobilization/indecisiveness bleeds into our bigger and more important decisions. Trends soon transform into behaviors, and behaviors/habits can be hard to break (as we all know). A common proverb that is often taken for granted:
“When the going gets tough the tough get going.”
When tough decisions come upon us it is the strongest that we rely on to stand up and make them confidently. Forget about being right or wrong and focus instead on moving forward. This is the leadership our nation so desperately needs. Make the call and move on. If it was in fact the wrong call, hurdle the new obstacle and keep moving forward, at least you are moving. People respect and understand this. If they do not, then they get left behind. There will always be a few that are left behind, unfortunately (or fortunately) it is unavoidable. Why put everyone else in danger while you are waiting to make sure the decision is perfect for everyone?
In 2010, after I came back from my Iraq deployment, I found I had very little patience for anyone who took longer than 30 seconds to make a simple decision. Where are we going to eat tonight? When should we go shopping for milk? Brown rice or white rice, steak or chicken? Budget cuts, taxes, or continuing resolution? Make up your mind, its been 29 seconds already!
While deployed, there was very little time to sit, ponder and worry. You made quick decisions because you had to, and if it was the wrong one, you embodied the lessons learned and moved on to the next decision 10 seconds later. We did not have time to sit around and contemplate our next Facebook post. We were both productive and extraordinarily innovative, solving problems left and right. Whether it was out of necessity or because of the operations tempo, it flat out worked. Your mind is a powerful machine when you keep it under the gun. It was like the wild west out there! I felt like I had an idea of what it was like to be like my great grandpap back when America was an industrious nation building quality skyscrapers, homes, roads and other local infrastructures at exponential rates; we were #1. There was no red-tape clogging up a stove-piped bureaucracy. We moved FORWARD in dynamic fashion.
Making quick decisions on the tactical things allowed us more time to think strategically on some of the more complex longer term problems we faced. It is interesting though, something I noticed was that even though we spent more time coming up with solutions for those strategic challenges, the time spent was a fraction of what it would normally take others, outside of that environment, to gin up a plan. We flourished in that environment.
Overtime the good ole’ USA, its general population, has become over saturated with too many diminutive decisions every minute of every day. The ability to choose from so many options has resulted in an incapacitated society which has lost the wherewithal to make tough decisions. We have handicapped our strong leaders for when the going gets tough.
The going is tough, worldwide, and we have essentially become numb to the consequences of our deficiency in leadership. It is a scary thought. Nevertheless, I will not worry nor be infirm. I am ready for the challenge. Let’s make a decision, and move forward together.