Decisions.  You’ll make roughly 600 decisions every day you decide to put your feet out on the floor. (That’s one.)  That totals over a quarter of a million decisions every year of your life.  Some decisions in life are easier than others.  Some we just make instinctively, others need more thought and consideration.  We weigh what we like against what we need.  We compare what is right to what is expedient.  Leadership demands that we make decisions.  Great leadership means we make most of them right, and make the most of our wrong decisions.

Among the hardest of our decisions are those which will have a major impact on others.  We wrestle with the consequences of our choices, and how they will impact those whom we lead, and those whose lives we touch.  I still have so much to learn in making great decisions, but some consider some wisdom from minds greater than mine.

  1. To Thine Own Self Be True!  “It’s not hard to make decisions when you know what your values are.” Roy Disney  This really is the most critical factor when making difficult choices.  They are your decisions.  You own them, and the consequences.  It’s vital that they are in sync with your core values.
  2. Mind & Heart Both Matter!  “Truly successful decision-making relies on a balance between deliberate and instinctive thinking.” Malcolm Gladwell  We’re not machines, simply inputting data and spitting out answers to equations.  Life is fluid, it’s ever-changing… life is, well, alive!  If you only “go with your gut”, you’re bound to be embarrassed.  If you ignore your intuition, then you’ll ultimately face regret.  But you MUST think AND feel your way through life’s most crucial moments.
  3. If Life and Leadership Were Easy, Everyone Would Do It!  “Someone once said anyone can be great under rosy circumstances, but the true test of character is measured by how well a person makes decisions during difficult times.” Jack Gantos, Hole in My Life  Even the person who spends their entire life working on an assembly line will ultimately face hard choices, whether in their professional or personal life.  Tough times do more than build character; they put on display the character that already exists.  Dig down deep into your own wellspring of character, and rise above the circumstances.
  4. Sleep On It!  “Don’t decide yet,” Hephaestus advised. “Wait until daybreak. Daybreak is a good time for decisions.” Rick Riordan, The Battle of the Labyrinth  Not all the gut wrenching decisions you’ll be faced with need a quick or immediate response.  Give your body and your mind a day or two to digest the choice before you, and many times what you’ll find is that a little amount of time brings a great amount of clarity and even objectivity.decision-making
  5. Reject The Inclination To Have A Pity Party!  “Crying is all right in its way while it lasts. But you have to stop sooner or later, and then you still have to decide what to do.” C.S. Lewis, The Silver Chair   Stop it!  You’re not the only one in the world who is facing a job change, a financial calamity or a broken relationship.  Others are in the same or even worse types of situations than you are.  “I cried because I had no shoes. Then I met a man who had no feet.”  said author Wally Lamb.  Yes, you’re facing tough times and even tougher choices.  BE the person tough enough to face them back, and to overcome!
  6. There Are Winners & Losers In Every Decision!  “The only way of catching a train I have ever discovered is to miss the train before.” G.K. Chesterton  One of the most difficult aspects of making what seems to be an impossible choice is knowing that there will be those who disagree or are hurt by our choice.  In this moment, we’re only allowed one reality.  Not everyone can win, and not everyone will agree.  Accept it and move on.
  7. Don’t Be Most People!  “When faced with two equally tough choices, most people choose the third choice: to not choose.
” Jarod Kintz, This Book Title is Invisible  The world needs leaders… it needs champions… it needs YOU!  Choose to choose, no matter how crazy hard the choices may seem!  Will you always choose what is right or best?  Nope.  Will your choices cost you financially, socially or professionally?  Maybe.  Should you then decide to be passive, avoid choices and float through life unnoticed? NEVER, NEVER, NEVER!

The hardest choices in life can be like diamonds… hard, not clear until after they’re already processed, but when it’s all said and done, some of the most valuable and beautiful things in our life!  Go make those diamond decisions!

What big choice, difficult choice, overwhelmingly hard choice have you been facing lately?

Which of the suggestions above spoke most to you?