Decisions 101

Even though I have been in management for most of my professional career, I rarely write about such topics. Perhaps it is too close to home, or simply too much like work for me to enjoy writing about it on my blog. Today is different. I have been thinking of things that help organizations make better decisions and want to share them.

1. When you bring problems to you’re supervisor/manager/director be sure that you have also thought about potential solutions. Bursting in to the boss’s office with an urgent “the sky is falling” message is much better received if you have considered the problem from different angles and have some solutions or responses ready to suggest.

2. Do not hesitate to give your opinion about issues that arise in your work. Nothing riles me more than when I am trying to have a discussion with an employee and I get the silent, blank stare. What I want is opinions, ideas, information, even arguments. Ken Blanchard is famous for saying, and I am known for repeating, “All of us are smarter than some of us.” We almost always make better decisions when we make them together and employees often have the most important perspectives.

3. When faced with a crisis, problem, or tough decision, put on you asbestos britches and just get to work. No whining, no blaming, no procrastinating. Just do it. And never, ever try to hide it, whatever the ‘it’ is for you. If I know what I am dealing with I am much more inclined to be forgiving than when I have been blindsided because someone was afraid to speak up.

4. Nothing can be declared finished until the paperwork is done. The documentation, reports, publicity, thank you letters, financial accounting, etc. cannot be ignored. If you do, it always comes to haunt you – and it is always worse the second time around.

That’s my list. Call it accountability, call it follow through, call it common sense, or something else, but a person who heeds this advice will have great success.

What would you add to the list?

Lust

The Sandusky trial and verdict (GUILTY!) got me thinking about the deadly sin of LUST.  Now there are hundreds of adjectives and emotions that come to mind when I think of the whole Sandusky mess, but in terms of my “seven deadlies” theme, lust is the one.

I find that words escape me when trying to describe my reaction to what Sandusky did, what he got by with for so many years, what Penn State ignored, what they rationalized, and most significantly, what he did to those poor, vulnerable victims. What altered state of mind allowed Sandusky to think that what he was doing was okay?  And in what state of mind did the Penn State administrators who looked the other way not stop to think about the victims.

Back to Lust.

Lust was the deadly sin that was committed, but there were lots of omissions, too. Where was the empathy? What about the awareness, kindness, even chastity?  And shame – where was the shame?

From Sandusky’s horrible crimes must eventually come healing. Penn State will certainly need to take a leadership role in that, but so should the other systems which allowed this to happen for so long. And Penn State may be the one getting all the attention these days, but there have been so many others – even in that safest of places, the church.  How can we protect our children from the predators that are among us?  One way is for all of us to take responsibility for others. We must all be alert to things that just don’t seem right. And we must all speak up for those who can’t – or won’t – speak for themselves.  That won’t rid the world of the Sanduskys among us, but it will definitely keep them from exacting the harm that this most evil and famous Sandusky has done.

The bottom line is that our acts and our in-actions have consequences. When we act, or when we fail to act, we must ask ourselves who or what is affected. If we ALWAYS consider the consequences before the act, our decisions will be ones that we can be proud of. And the world will be a much better place.