“Once I made a decision, I never thought about it again.”
- Michael Jordan
Decisions, decisions, decisions…….. Scientists estimate that we make approximately 35,000 different decisions each day. These range from what we will eat for breakfast and what clothes we will wear to life-alterting choices in our businesses, relationships and our health and well-being.
According to the Forbes Magazine article, Eight Essential Qualities That Define Great Leadership, decisiveness or the ability to make empowered decisions ranks as the #5 attribute of a great leader saying, “A good leader isn’t simply empowered to make decisions due to their position. They are willing to take on the risk of decision making. They make these decisions and take risks knowing that if things don’t work out, they’ll need to hold themselves accountable first and foremost.”
I know I can oftentimes find myself in “analysis paralysis” as I weigh in my mind what is the best decision to make in a situation. However, I have also found that once I make that decision based on the best information and feelings within my heart that I have available, and fully embrace it, forces I didn’t even know were available begin to come into my life to support me. It was not that I necessarily made the “right” decision, but that I embraced my decision with my whole heart and mind. Or as William Hutchison Murray so famously said, “
“Until one is committed, there is hesitancy……….the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one's favour all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamt would have come his way………Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness (decisiveness) has genius, power, and magic in it!”
I am reminded of a time early in my martial arts business career when this very idea transformed me and my business. It was a few months after I had opened my school, having left my “secure” corporate job only weeks before. It was coming towards the end of the month and I was worried (albeit, unnecessarily) about how the month would finish and if I would be able to meet expenses.
I was standing in my office, looking through the plexiglass window I had installed to observe the training floor and watched three young students warming up for the upcoming class. While they were happily moving their bodies, preparing for the class ahead, I was inside my office with my knees literally shaking as I fantasized about all of the peril that awaited me if I did not make my monthly revenue number.
Then it hit me. These kids’ parents had enrolled their children in my program for me to teach them confidence, empowerment and the courage to move through obstacles and here I was, hiding in my office, feeling completely disempowered while in the grips of my own irrational fantasy of fear.
It was then that I made a decision. While there were only three students on the mat, I decided that I was going to teach that class as if there were twenty students waiting for me to teach them. I also decided that going forward, I would teach each future class at my school, with the same confidence and energy as if there were 20 students on the mat. Three, five, ten students, it didn’t matter. Each class was going to experience me as the empowered instructor and business owner I had decided to be.
Well, wouldn’t you know it? Within a year, our student body had grown beyond my wildest dreams with over 200 students training at our center (the average martial arts school in the U.S. at that time had only 80 students). Within 5 years, we were blessed to have grown to having 500 active members. It all started with a decision.
This week, I challenge all of us to take a closer look at our lives and our careers and see how these four aspects of empowered decision making can positively impact us and those we choose to serve.
So, there you have it, friends. What decisions will you make this week and what empowered actions are you willing to take to make those intentions a reality?
Who knows, the decision you’ve been putting off, may be the exact one that gets you precisely where you want to go or need to be. Remember, you don’t need to be great to start, you just have to start to be great. Are you ready to decide?
Black Belt Leadership Speaking & Coaching
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