3 Questions to Break Decision-Making Paralysis

Personal and business leadership requires the ability to make decisions. But decisions can be difficult to make. Some of them so much so that they keep us awake at night, limit our ability to concentrate (or even notice) other issues/people around us, and in more severe cases, the whole process can lead to declining health.


The businessman -  bankrupt

Theodore Roosevelt suggested that, “In any moment of decision, the best thing you can do is the right thing, the next best thing is the wrong thing, and the worst thing you can do is nothing.”

Being paralyzed at the crossroads of decision is a difficult place to be – the place of having options, but not being sure how they will work out. Possibly more difficult is the place of misguided thinking – where the options we think we have are not real. What a relief when we come to a place of clarity, even when that clarity is death to a dream. “Yes” and “no” are both clear – it is “maybe” that causes us the most grief.

During one of my posts as a turnaround CEO, I remember being in such a situation. I had worked through  Please Continue Reading …

Already dead…until decisions count

I retold a story in July/August (upcoming) Calibration column of SaskBusiness magazine, about a time where I had a very difficult, veritable life or death decision to make. The tipping point in the decision came when I remember that the company was “already dead”…not literally of course…but in such a state that, without deep change, it would not survive.

Sometimes we are at junctures in our life individually much like I was corporately. We may be in a vocation, relationship or situation that we know is toxic to our soul, and while we lack the courage or resolve to change, we may know that death awaits if we do not step into the great unknown.

“Man protests against death, for he is not content with a postponement of the execution.” Henri Nouwen

It is not just that we want to avoid metaphoric death…in truth we protest our imminent departure from this earth. We all WILL die. Some sooner, some later…but ultimately our date with death is unavoidable…and the years pass faster than we realize…until we look back.

 Please Continue Reading …


“Do what is right, and deal with the consequences.”

I wonder if too often we look into the future to decide whether or not things will be favorable to us…enroute to making our decisions. Seeming sound and logical, this may not be right in all cases.

You have an opportunity to gain financially, and all you have to do is fudge the truth a bit. If you don’t fudge, you don’t know what will happen. Maybe you win, maybe you lose. The future looks uncertain, and who’s to know?

Or, someone you know is in a desperate situation. You have the ability to help. You can see where this will be a large challenge, you see that this may drag on for some time, and have no idea as to what a real exit looks like for you. There is no one else close by to help, and you see the veritable writing on the wall; they are going down. Do you leave them to “fate”, or do you engage?

There are hundreds, even thousands of scenarios that could be written here. The point is not so much in the detail of the situation as the principle of the decision. Do we look for what is right, or do we look for what benefits us in the end…the end being as far as we can see?

What truly benefits in the “final” end…further than we can presently “see”?

What do we respect most in others…(would we want someone to take advantage of or walk out on us?)…isn’t this what we would mostly likely desire to be as well?

Why not embrace the journey (along with the unkown detail of how it will all turn out) by simply determining to do what is right, and then dealing with whatever is to follow.