Inspiration for today’s post comes from the audio version of Highroads Media’s What Would Napoleon Hill Do? While my previous blog was about Gumption and Decision-Making, today’s post will contrast the quality of the decisions you make with the results you get from those decisions.
I believe the quality of your decision-making process needs to be evaluated separately and differently from the results you’re getting … despite the easily envisioned linkage.
Another way of saying this is that decisions should be evaluated by two distinct measurements:
- The soundness of the original decision, and
- The results obtained from the original decision and subsequent actions taken.
In evaluating a decision’s soundness, consider the following questions:
- Did I collect enough information?
- Was the information interpreted correctly?
- Was the interpretation correctly applied to the choices made and the actions taken?
To evaluate the results of the decision you want to look at:
- Did I accomplish what I originally intended to accomplish?
- Did what happened result from the original decision and actions?
- Or did it happen from other external or unforeseen factors?
If you evaluate your decisions with these two separate measurements, then four possible categories of decision-making/results occur:
1. Good Decision – Good Result
This is the best-case scenario. You made a good, sound decision, and you obtained the results you desired. And the results were a consequence of your original decision and the actions you took.
Congratulations … You did good!
2. Good Decision – Bad Result
This probably happens more frequently than any of us like to admit. Entrepreneurs and people who regularly get things done often meet with failure and setbacks while on their path to success.
When this happens, people with Gumption use this as a learning lesson. They view this as a positive. They better understand what not to do and believe they are now one step closer to success.
Or put in Gump-like terms … “It Happens!”
Congratulations … You tried!
3. Bad Decision – Good Result
When you make a bad decision but get a good result, you can’t honestly take credit for the good result. You can feel gratitude that you’ve dodged a bullet. And hopefully, you will learn something of value from the experience. You want to use this scenario as a way to make better decisions in the future by analyzing what factors did contribute to the ultimate good result.
Breathe a sigh of relief … You got lucky!
4. Bad Decision – Bad Result
When you make bad decisions and get bad results you can’t blame anyone but yourself. You are getting the exact results that you’re setting in motion from your choices and actions … whether consciously or subconsciously.
If you’re consciously able to conclude that this is your modus operandi, then congratulations, because awareness is the first step towards fixing the problem. You may need some coaching or other professional help to obtain the skills that are currently missing.
Either way, either or … You need help!
The bottom line for me is realizing that I can’t be too hard on myself for making a good decision but getting a poor result … there are hundreds of variables that are out of my immediate control.
Likewise, I can’t take credit for getting a good result (by luck) from a decision that was originally made poorly. Getting good results from your poor choices only regularly happens in the movies … not in real life.
Are your decisions getting the results you desire?
Are you putting too much reliance on luck for your results?
Are you willing to try to operate consistently in the good decision-making category and let the results simply take care of themselves?
Next Blog Title: Gumption and Graciousness
Next Blog Date: July 11, 2011