Making decisions is what leaders do. Whether it’s hiring staff, evaluating vendor proposals, or resolving process bottlenecks, making decisions is our bread and butter. It’s why we get paid the big bucks! J Given that making decisions is such a critical part of our roles, the tendency can be to fall into a routine, and even lose sight of how important this responsibility can be. And invariably, our decisions stack upon one another – the first decision leads to a second, which leads to a third, and so on. So what would happen if you made a poor decision somewhere along that path? Logic says that it could potentially take you down a road that could lead to a sub-optimal or even damaging outcome.
The world of natural science has numerous examples of how one seemingly harmless decision has led to devastating unintended consequences. Consider the introduction of the mongoose to the Hawai’ian islands. In the 1880s, sugar cane farmers in the islands were seeking ways to control rat populations that were destroying their crops, and in 1883, with the best of intentions, they imported hundreds of mongoose and let them loose in their fields. It proved to be a decision that was enormously uninformed. Continue reading