What might the sitting President of the United States, the presumptive challenger to his position and the angst-filled Prince of Denmark have in common?
Decisions to make! Decisions that will create consequences to live with : for themselves as well as many connected to them.
The front page of the New York Times on Sunday, June 3, 2012 carried a piece written by Mark Leibovich in which he paralleled similarities between Mr. Romney and President Obama. Suffice, for this purpose, to note that the most striking was this: “…both like process-driven decisions…”. And, alas, for poor Hamlet– it is there that any possible likeness among the three ends!
While the contenders for the most powerful position in the free world understand that making decisions based upon “gut instinct” may work for television characters and the lucky few imbued with radar- sensitive abilities to discern preferable courses of action, directing the course of our behavior using those lodestars is probably foolish for most of us.
Hamlet’s agony…” To be or not to be … that is the question” has resonated with theatre-goers for millennia because we all know what it is like to wrestle with a dizzying array of possible actions when faced with questions calling for decisions. Like Hamlet, we may arrange potential lists of possible solutions while we toss and turn as to what choice we have… if, indeed, we really have a choice at all. Like Hamlet, we all have been faced with situations in which we feel that we have NO choices at all … We are between the proverbial “rock and hard place”.
But are we really without options … Even when we think we are?
The agony of finding solutions for the challenging and complex issues we face in positions of leadership in school systems is that making decisions becomes analogous to walking in for a colonoscopy while choosing to forego the anesthesia!
While we know that the decisions looming in front of us must be made (just like the colonoscopy is, really, in our best interests!), we fret, worry, second-guess and delay pulling the trigger of choice.
Perhaps we are concerned that the result will be less than desirable.
Perhaps we are concerned that we have not made the choice that will be best understood by those upon whom the decision’s impact will fall.
Perhaps we are concerned that we have failed to consider all salient points.
It is at this moment that the process-driven decision making styles of both President Obama and Governor Romney would do our protagonist, Hamlet, well. Frankly, learning how to implement process-driven decisions would serve most of us well, also!
By embracing a clear and well-defined strategy for defining decision issues and making the implementation of that strategy part of the way that one not only makes decisions but explains decisions to others, Hamlet would not only spend less time walking the corridors of the Denmark castle… but also find it much easier “to sleep-perchance to dream” than not!
Good and successful leaders understand that citizens of all stripes (corporate, school or national) are far more likely to accept decisions that make sense to them in terms of how the end point was reached. While not every decision can be welcomed as most wanted by all, most rational people can live with decisions opposite to their own desires if … but only if … the process for reaching the decision seems fair, clear and comprehensible.
TregoED prides itself on being able to share a decision making process with school leaders that is all of that: easy to learn, easy to understand, easy to share with others …as well as defensible and visible to both decision-makers and those who must live with the choices made by those in command.
While we are unable to assist the noble Prince of Denmark with his challenge, we are ready to assist you!
So, as you spend the coming summer months watching the Democrats and Republicans vie for national leaderships, remember that you, too, can share the “process-driven decision making style” embraced by both standard-bearers.
We may not be able to put you into 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue… But we CAN help you figure out what course of action answers the questions keeping you awake in YOUR castle at night!
Visit us at www.tregoed.org to see how decision analysis can remove your decision paralysis!