Yesterday I hosted the second meeting of one of my online YMCP groups. During our ’round the horn time of sharing highs and lows of the past month, as well as reporting on homework, one of the guys shared a bit of input he’d received from someone that, in the midst of a particular decision he was trying to make, he found shaping and instructive. It struck me as brilliant input, and I quickly jotted it down:
You don’t lack the ability to make the decision; what you lack is the willingness to make the wrong decision.
Man, that’s it. That’s what, so often, keeps me frozen in the process of decision making. My fear over loss or scrutiny or embarrassment or the potential of spilled milk. And I see this over and over again with leaders of all sorts, including youth workers. Great leaders are willing to make the wrong decision (and, of course, to own it when wrong decisions are made, rather than pointing at others or external factors). This isn’t a cry for impulsivity or a cavalier approach to decision making that ignores potential hurt or mess. Instead, it’s an invitation to move out of that frozen space of indecision, with a willingness to risk.
Are you willing to make the wrong decision?