Tag: Decisions (home)

I not only use all the brains that I have, but all that I can borrow.

permalink source: Woodrow Wilson
tags: Wisdom, Decisions, Teams

I must have a prodigious quantity of mind; it takes me as much as a week sometimes to make it up.

permalink source: Mark Twain, "The Innocents Abroad"
tags: Intelligence, Decisions

I'm on a Committee Oh, give me a pity, I'm on a committee Which means that from morning to night We attend and amend and contend and defend Without a conclusion in sight. We confer and concur, we defer and demur And re-iterate all of our thoughts We revise the agenda with frequent addenda And consider a load of reports. We compose and propose, we suppose and oppose And the points of procedure are fun! But though various notions are brought up as motions There's terribly little gets done. We resolve and absolve, but never dissolve Since it's out of the question for us. What a shattering pity to end our committee Where else could we make such a fuss?

permalink source: Phong Ngo
tags: Humor, Decisions

"What is a committee? A group of the unwilling, picked from the unfit, to do the unnecessary."

permalink source: Richard Harkness
tags: Humor, Decisions, Teams

"Committee - a group of men who keep minutes and waste hours."

permalink source: Milton Berle
tags: Time Management, Decisions, Teams

There's a wonderful story about a Chicago bank that once asked for a letter of recommendation for a young Bostonian being considered for employment. The Boston investment firm could not say enough about the young man. His father, they wrote, was a Cabot; his mother was a Lowell. Further back was a happy blend of Saltonstalls, Peabodys, and others of Boston's first families. His recommendation was given without hesitation. Several days later, the Chicago bank sent a note saying the information supplied was altogether inadequate. It read: "We are not interested in using the young man for breeding purposes. Just for work." Neither is God a respecter of persons but accepts those from every family, nation, and race who fear him and work for his kingdom.

permalink source: Anonymous
tags: Decisions, Authenticity

Peter F. Drucker: (on what are the most important lessons he's learned) ----------------- I hope you don't mind if I give you four lessons. - The first one, I call Harry Truman's maxim. Which I heard him say many times. "If it has to be explained, it won't work." It will only work if it's so simple that everybody says it's obvious. - And second, say 'please' and 'thank you,' manners matter. They are the lubricating oil of human intercourse. They make it possible for people to work with one another. - Third, one that applies to me, as a professional writer, but it applies to anybody. If a sentence doesn't gel, don't rewrite it. It's not that the sentence is not right, your thoughts are not clear or not thought through. - And finally, never ask who's right. Start out by asking what is right. And you find that out by listening to dissenting, disagreeing opinions. Those are the four most important things I learned.

permalink source: Peter Drucker @ the Drucker Foundation Fall 2000 Conference
tags: Leadership, Decisions, Simplicity, Planning

I explained my idea of loyalty. "When we were debating an issue, loyalty means giving me your honest opinion, whether you think I'll like it or not. Disagreement, at this stage, stimulates me. But once a decision has been made, the debate ends. From that point on, loyalty means executing the decision as if it were your own. This particular emperor expected to be told when he was naked. He did not care to freeze to death in his own ignorance. "If you think something is wrong, speak up," I told them. "I'd rather hear about it sooner than later. Bad news isn't wine. It doesn't improve with age."

permalink source: Colin Powell (quoted in American Generalship by Puryear, p 68)
tags: Decisions, Teams, Loyalty, Submission, Feedback

Because of the large increase in the size of the air force, General Marshall suggested that Arnold select a few relatively junior air corps officers to be jumped in rank, thus preparing younger talent for effective leadership. Arnold replied that if he promoted these officers, he did not believe he could sustain the morale of the World War I flyers among the senior colonels. Many of these had been reduced from wartime rank in 1919 and had served as long as seventeen years as lieutenants. Jump-promoting "youngsters" in their thirties, he thought, would shatter the morale of the older, more experienced group. Marshall, therefore, proceeded on his own, immediately promoting Lt. Col. Laurence S. Kuter, age thirty-six, to the rank of brigadier general. Kuter had been a lieutenant colonel for only about three weeks when this promotion was made. Arnold was then instructed to place the thirty-six year old Kuter in a high position on his staff and be less concerned about the morale of the older officers and more concerned with providing incentives for the younger ones.

permalink source: Edgar Puryear, American Generalship, p 266-267
tags: Leadership, Decisions, Organization

Contrary to popular myth, great teams are not characterized by an absence of conflict. On the contrary, in my experience, one of the most reliable indicators of a team that is continually learning is the visible conflict of ideas. In great teams, conflict becomes productive. … On the other hand, in mediocre teams, one of two conditions usually surround conflict. Either, there is an appearance of no conflict on the surface, or there is rigid polarization. In the "smooth surface" teams, members believe that they must supress their conflicting views in order to maintain the team--if each person spoke her or his mind, the team would be torn apart by irreconcilable differences. The polarized team is one where managers "speak out," but conflicting views are deeply entrenched. Everyone knows where everyone else stands, and there is little movement.

permalink source: Peter Senge, The Fifth Discipline p 249
tags: Conflict, Decisions, Teams

no surfer catches every wave

permalink source: Rick Warren
tags: Choices, Decisions

A baseball bat, a tennis raquet, and a golf club. They all have something in common--each of these has a sweet spot. Tonight, I'm trying to help you find the sweet spot.

permalink source: Ed Young
tags: Decisions, Stress, Balance

http://www.newindpress.com/Newsitems.asp?ID=IEP20030721133653&Title=States&rLink=0 "Holding Severed Head In Place, He Defied Death" IANS AGRA: A 28-year-old carrier van driver's head nearly got chopped off in a road accident. Weeks later he is alive, thanks to sheer grit. His head almost severed, blood oozing and eyes popping out, Balram was in a dazed state when the accident took place on July 5 in Fatehabad in Uttar Pradesh. He, however, kept his head attached to his body with some cloth. When no one came to help him, he drove his own vehicle for 30 km to reach a nursing home in Agra. Doctors there found the head partly joined with the spinal column -- something that saved his life. D.V. Sharma, who runs the nursing home, said it was Balram's supreme confidence and presence of mind that must have made him drive without any loss of time. "Had there been some delay, death was a certainty." "Imagine someone walking into the nursing home with his head almost cut off from the neck. The very thought gives shivers," said an attendant who first saw Balram at the nursing home. On Sunday evening, a felicitation function was organised by Agra's clubs and some NGOs for Balram. People who donated blood for him were also praised at the function in the hospital, which incidentally refused to take money for his treatment. Recalling the accident, a family member said: "Balram was returning from Arnauta in Bah tehsil (sub-district) with 10 quintals of wheat in his van. When he was passing through the main market in Fatehabad, a tractor trolley carrying iron rods and pipes ahead of him suddenly applied the breaks. "Balram could not stop in time and banged into the trolley. The iron rods pierced through his neck. His head fell on one side, attached precariously to the spinal cord. "He was fully conscious and all his organs were in command. Promptly, Balram straightened his head and tied a 'safi' (a thin cloth towel) around it and rushed towards Agra. Whoever saw the scene couldn't believe his eyes. The crowd that assembled around did nothing. "When Balram tried to speak, blood oozed from his mouth. "Soaked in blood and in a totally shattered state, even his co-worker collapsed unconscious. But Balram did not lose heart. He kick-started the van and went to a nearby doctor who advised him to immediately rush to Agra. The first nursing home on the way refused him admission as he was in a critical state. "Then around 7.30 p.m., he reached D.V. Sharma's bone clinic. He fell unconscious. Sharma immediately got his team together as both his pulse and breathing rhythms had come under strain." It took nearly three-and-a-half hours for doctors to complete the operation. Papers on the van helped them trace his family members. A life was saved. On Sunday, Balram was fit and ready to return. He is still having trouble speaking, but doctors said a minor operation later would restore his voice

permalink source: South India Press
tags: Death, Decisions, Confusion

A recent article in The New York Times (7/30/03) points out the growing interest among economists and other scholars in studying sports. Particularly, they are documenting the tendency for managers and coaches to avoid risk, even when the statistics reflect a greater likelihood of success than failure. Writer David Leonhard observes, "Be it at Chicago, Duke, Harvard or the University of California at Berkeley, some of the nation's top economists, psychologists and statisticians are coming to see sports as a subject that requires their attention. Trying to understand human decision-making, they are writing papers about such choices as when to punt, or when to take out a basketball player in foul trouble . . . Their research is quickly leading to a theory that will resonate with any fans who have ever screamed for their team to go for it on fourth down: the professors say that managers, coaches and players are often far too cautious for their own good. "Teams are averse to going for all or none," said Steven J. Sherman, a psychology professor at Indiana University . . . "Teams don't want to do something that puts the game on the line right now." Leonhardt notes, "The professors say that coaches and managers often go awry when faced with a decision involving an obvious, yet ultimately sensible, risk. They seem to focus too much on the worst-case scenario: the Bonds home run, the game-ending brick, the failed fourth down." (Click here to read the full story; you may be asked to register before viewing the story.) It's worth asking ourselves as church leaders: are there times when we miss hitting "home runs" in our work because of an inordinate fear of risk?

permalink source: Preaching Now vol 2,no 29
tags: Choices, Decisions, Opportunity

Never make a decision when you are discouraged or depressed. If you do, you will seldom make the right decision. You need to be content where you are before God will likely move you somewhere else. When your heart is right with God and you are confident in that relationship, doubt never means "yes". Doubt always means "no" or wait, never yes. God doesn't lead us through doubt.

permalink source: Jimmy Draper, president of Lifeway
tags: Decisions, Doubt

When Senator Howard Baker was a candidate in the 1980 presidential election, he ran across strong criticism of his support for Jimmy Carter's return of the Panama Canal to Panama from a Republican woman in Vermont. "Well, madam," replied the senator with sweet reasonableness, "I must have cast thousands of votes during my time in the Senate. You probably agree with almost all of them. Why focus on the one issue where we disagree?" "Pontius Pilate probably made lots of good decisions too," responded the lady. "But we only remember one." http://www.nationalreview.com/issue/jos200403021503.asp

permalink source: John O'Sullivan on the Passion of the Christ in National Review Online 3/2/2004
tags: Sin, Decisions

Until one is committed there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiative and creation there is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in ones favor all manner of unseen incidents, meetings, and material assistance which no man could have dreamed would have come his way. Whatever you can do or dream you can--begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. Begin it now.

permalink source: Goethe
tags: Courage, Decisions

Given an equal degree of intelligence, a thousand times more is lost in war through anxiety than through boldness.

permalink source: Carl von Clausewitz
tags: Courage, Decisions

In great straits, when hope is small, the boldest counsels are the safest.

permalink source: Livy
tags: Courage, Decisions

If you take too long in deciding what to do with your life, you’ll find you’ve done it.

permalink source: George Bernard Shaw, 1856-1950
tags: Courage, Destiny, Decisions

Men are never so likely to settle a question rightly as when they discuss it freely.

permalink source: Thomas B. Macaulay
tags: Communication, Conflict, Decisions

All the wrong people are against it, so it must be right.

permalink source: James Carville
tags: Criticism, Decisions, Judging

Take time to deliberate, but when the time for action arrives, stop thinking and go in.

permalink source: Andrew Jackson
tags: Courage, Decisions

The best decision-makers are those who are willing to suffer the most over their decisions but still retain their ability to be decisive.

permalink source: M. Scott Peck
tags: Decisions

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.

permalink source: Theodore Roosevelt
tags: Courage, Mistake, Decisions

Once a decision was made, I did not worry about it afterward.

permalink source: Harry S. Truman
tags: Decisions

No one learns to make right decisions without being free to make wrong ones.

permalink source: Kenneth Sollity
tags: Mistake, Decisions

People don’t ever seem to realize that doing what’s right is no guarantee against misfortune. – William McFee, 1881-1996

permalink source: Anonymous
tags: Effectiveness, Decisions

The statesman who, seeing war inevitable, hesitates to strike first is guilty of a crime against his country.

permalink source: Karl von Clausewitz
tags: Courage, Decisions

At least 85% of all problems in an organization can be traced to the top management. This is due, in large part, to the fact that the only ones making any decisions are managers. --

permalink source: W. Edwards Deming
tags: Leadership, Mistake, Decisions

He is most fatigued who knows not what to do.

permalink source: Anonymous
tags: Decisions

From "Thoughts in Solitude" My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going. I do not see the road ahead of me. I cannot know for certain where it will end. Nor do I really know myself, and the fact that I think I am following Your will does not mean that I am actually doing so. But I believe that the desire to please You does in fact please you. And I hope I have that desire in all that I am doing. I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire. And I know that if I do this, You will leave me by the right road, though I may know nothing about it. Therefore, I will trust you always, although I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death. I will not fear, for You are ever with me, and You will never leave me to face my peril alone. Thomas Morton

permalink source: Thomas Merton
tags: Discernment, Decisions

Deciding What You Want - If you don’t know what you want, it’s probably sleep.

permalink source: Rules Of Thumb 2
tags: Decisions, Sleep

We only make a few major decisions in life, and we spend the rest of our lives managing those decisions.

permalink source: Mark Batterson
tags: Wisdom, Decisions

You could rely on the so-called experts to make smart decisions for you. But experts often disagree with each other. That leaves you to pick the best expert, and that’s something you probably aren’t an expert at doing. Look at the stock market. There are about 10,000 stocks. But there are 20,000 managed stock funds, the majority of which can’t beat a stock-picking monkey with a dartboard. You have a 1-in-10,000 chance of randomly picking the best stock in the world and a 1-in-20,000 chance of randomly picking the best stock expert.

permalink source: Scott Adams, The One Problem With The World, http://dilbertblog.typepad.com/the_dilbert_blog/2006/11/the_one_problem.html
tags: Humility, Choices, Decisions

I have been forced to make decisions, many of them of a critical character, for a good many years, and I know of only one way in which you can be sure you have done your best to make a wise decision. That is to get all of the [responsible policy makers] with their different viewpoints in front of you, and listen to them debate. I do not believe in bringing them in one at a time, and therefore being more impressed by the most recent one you hear than the earlier ones. You must get courageous men of strong views, and let them debate and argue with each other. You listen, and see if there's anything been brought up, any idea, that changes your own view, or enriches your view or adds to it. Then you start studying. Sometimes the case becomes so simple that you can make a decision right then. Or you might wait if time is not of the essence. But you make it. [I found this quote in a paper by Greenstein and Immerman. They note "Our citation comes from the original draft transcript of the oral history that is available at the Eisenhower Library. The transcript released to the public omits the passage that we quote." - the paper is at http://www.eisenhowerinstitute.org/programs/livinghistory/GreensteinArticle.pdf]

permalink source: Dwight Eisenhower, Columbia Oral History Interview, 20 July 1967.
tags: Decisions, Teams, Arguments

When a triumphant Octavian returned to Rome after finally defeating Mark Antony, among the well-wishers was a man holding a raven, which he had trained to say: "Hail, Caesar, victorious leader." Octavian was amazed at this courteous bird, and bought him at a handsome price. Yet the trainer's partner, who had received nothing from that generous payment, revealed to Octavian that the trainer had also a second raven, and requested that he be forced to produce it. Once it was fetched, the raven spoke the words it had learned: "Hail, Antony, victorious leader." Octavian was not at all irritated; he simply thought it enough to make the trainer split the money with his associate.

permalink source: Macrobius, Saturnalia 2.4.29
tags: Politics, Decisions

Argue as if you are right and listen as if you are wrong.

permalink source: Karl Weick
tags: Conflict, Decisions

Andy Grove on Leadership

[Note that quote comes from a transcript of the talk that the folks at Harvard gave me (Bob Sutton). I have edited out a few lines, in part, because Grove made some comments about the Soprano’s TV show that were funny, but distract from the main point]. Grove said: "None of us have a real understanding of where we are heading. I don’t. I have senses about it... But decisions don’t wait, investment decisions or personal decisions and prioritization don't wait for that picture to be clarified. You have to make them when you have to make them. So you take your shots and clean up the bad ones later. And try not to get too depressed in the part of the journey, because there’s a professional responsibility. If you are depressed, you can't motivate your staff to extraordinary measures. So you have to keep your own spirits up even though you well understand that you don’t know what you’re doing." Then, Clay Christensen asked, "So how do you work on that part about keeping good spirits or managing emotional response, leading your team." Grove answered: "Well, part of it is self-discipline and part of it is deception. And the deception becomes reality -- deception in the sense that you pump yourself up and put a better face on things than you start off feeling. After a while, if you act confident, you become more confident. So the deception becomes less of a deception. But I think it is very important for you to do two things: act on your temporary conviction as if it was a real conviction; and when you realize that you are wrong, correct course very quickly."

permalink source: Bob Sutton's Blog, http://bobsutton.typepad.com/my_weblog/2007/03/andy_grove_tell.html
tags: Leadership, Perfectionism, Decisions, Motivation