How do leaders make choices?

word of month character

This week we have been talking to our students about making choices and decisions.  Making choices is based on what is best for the group or even for us as an individual is what leaders do.  So how do the best leaders make their choices?

The simple answer is you need to consider what the results will be, the good and the bad that will come from the choice.  One way of approaching that is to make a list of the “pros and cons”.  Weighing the pros and cons, and I like to write them down,  will help us to see the consequences – good or bad- that will result from either direction we may take. 

Some choices may be very simple, while others may have more impact on our lives and our happiness.  For instance choosing whether we get a pet or not get a pet, we will weigh out how much fun it will be vs how much work is involved.  We may even weigh the differences and the affects of choosing a dog or a cat.  It may be that an iguana might be the perfect pet for us.

Other choices may be more difficult.  What if we had to choose between going out for a school play or spending more time on school work.  There will be many things to consider both in short term and long term goals that we have.  All leaders need to make these tough decisions and sometimes we are not really sure what to do.  We want to remember that leaders do not have to know all the answers.  They do need to have around them others that they trust though. 

If you are a student you have your parents that you can go to and talk about your list of pros and cons to help you come to a good choice for you.  You may even have other adults in your life that you may want to ask how they see a situation.  Even your friends may be available to speak to, although you do need to be careful that you do not only seek out the advice of those that you think will agree with you. 

If you are an adult it may be your partner or someone in the organization that you work for that may be there for you to bounce ideas off.  It may be a trusted friend or an advisor or for many of us we may have a mentor that we can talk to.  But in the end it is us as the leader that must make the final decisions.  As a leader we do not want to “pass the buck” or even avoid risk-taking completely.  We do want to make informed decisions that with all the information at hand will be best for those that are following us.

A victory everyday!

word of month character

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do.  So throw off the bow-lines.   Sail away from the safe harbor.  Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”
— Mark Twain
No matter how great you may think everything is for you right now – I bet there’s probably something more you want to accomplish, right?  It could be (you fill in the blank) … it all takes time, planning and action.
And that’s the hard part. Most people find planning for big goals difficult because all they think about is the all the steps they have to take and all the work they have to take to get there.   As a result, it’s easy to lose interest.
Motivation dies.        Goal forgotten.
But if you break up the long-term goals into short-term victories you become about 100 times more likely to achieve EVERYTHING you want to do.   Teaching our students that lesson is one of Balanced Life Skills goals!  When they practice that lesson – we will have helped to develop a very well adjusted and productive group of students.