Often greater risk is involved in postponement than in making a wrong decision. Harry A. Hopf
When caught between the horns of a dilemma, our preferred option is to wait and hope that the crisis or event blows over or fate intervenes and spares the ordeal of taking a decision. Unfortunately, many a time we are forced by circumstances to finally take a decision and to our horror we realize that if we had only taken the decision earlier it would have been far more effective.
Take the case of a patient suffering from a heart disease and the doctors opine that a surgery is imminent. If family and friends who the patient consults suggest alternatives including second opinion and alternative treatments but postpone the surgery, there is every possibility that in the intervening period he can suffer a fatal heart attack. If the example sounds farfetched, then visualize a situation where you have to choose between picking up the last available air ticket at a premium price or take a chance that you will may or may not get a cheaper ticket in the next flight.
The risk of postponement is that there are no assurances of success whereas by taking a decision one has improved the chances of success by half. Take the case of a mountaineering team who have nearly reached the top of the peak but suddenly encounter a blizzard and have to decide if they must tactically retreat and forgo the opportunity to attain success or take a chance and risk their lives. The decision has to be taken instantaneously and no one has the luxury of debating and analyzing. By simply sitting the probability of not reaching the peak and yet perishing is multiplied manifold. By moving on they at least improve the chances of attaining glory while increasing the chance of dying if caught in the blizzard. However being decisive is not everyone’s cup of tea simply because not all of us can visualize, strategize and exercise their judgment impersonally.
To understand the gravity of the risk of delaying decisions visualize the decision of a fighter pilot to eject from his plane that has lost power and is surely going to crash. If he loses altitude he will not be able to get the required height for a safe ejection and yet ejection itself is fraught with danger. Considering the speed of the plane, his duty to ensure that he must attempt to save the plane and ensure minimum civilian casualty in case of accidents, the pilot has to make a split second decision or perish with the plane. Many of us do not face such critical time bound decision making but ironically that is also the reason why we postpone taking decisions. There is nothing like a fool proof decision for every decision is subject to hundreds of variables any one of which can play truant and turn our decision on its head. Keeping this reality in mind we must resolve to take time bound decisions simply because the alternatives are possibly more damaging than the decision we make. More importantly when we take a decision we take on a responsibility and so we will be committed to make the decision work in our favor.
Remember: Be willing to make decisions. That’s the most important quality in a good leader.” General George S. Patton
- The popular program Kaun Banega Crorepati the equivalent of Who wants to be a Millionaire is a wonderful program that brings out the importance of making a decision. If the same is being aired on TV attempt to be a participant and play along. Notice how you have to make a decision!
- List out 5 factors in order of importance that you will consider when you have to make a decision to retire. If you wish to keep active after retirement what will be the 5 alternatives from which you will choose one or more to keep busy.
This post is courtesy www.actspot.com
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