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The Importance of Values-Driven Decision Making – What Story Do You Want to Tell?

We make decisions.  We solve problems.  I once heard the author and speaker, Dr. Henry Cloud, say that success in our work means,  “we get more complex problems to solve and more impactful decisions to make!”  That is a success!  We get more!  Added to that, as we build our businesses, grow our organizations, and push toward our missions, we are writing a story.  The reality is, every decision we make becomes a permanent part of the story of our life, and our organization’s life.  No pressure.

Permanent is a long time.  The implications of saying yes to that hire, no to that deal; we have no way of knowing in the moment what the long-term impact will be.  Considering this, I have been taking a harder look at how I make decisions, and “Better Decisions, Fewer Regrets” by Andy Stanley has helped me tap the breaks, in order to ask myself some hard questions.

One question that has allowed me to think more wisely, and more broadly, about how to handle difficult situations has been this:  What do I want my story to be?  What do I want the story of my firm to be?  When complex, emotional and pressured-packed decisions arise, this question has helped bring clarity.  It has broken the movement toward what is feeling best in the moment, and instead, has allowed for a more comprehensive long-term view of the solution.  Even if the right decision requires the ability to weather some short-term pain in order to keep a hold on to the story we want to be able to tell.  Ultimately, when we ask ourselves this question, we are really asking ourselves to lead with our values.  Now, that’s authentic values-driven leadership.

So how about you?  What’s the story you want to tell? I know that continuing to ask this question – of myself and my team – will help us avoid some bad decisions today that could have a big impact deeply into our future.  

Write a great story – one you are proud to share.


The Legacy Center President