Decisions. Our life is full of them, and that’s why our lives are often very annoying. I don’t remember ever agreeing to become an adult–do you?
I was perfectly happy as a child, being force-fed peanut butter and jelly sandwiches because that was the easiest thing for my mom to make. And I’ll bet if you’re honest with yourself, you’d love to go back to those days as well. Life should never have gotten more complicated than having to decide whether to play inside or outside.
But I know that right now, you’re faced with any number of difficult decisions you have to make. Right now I’m writing this in my pajamas because there are simply too many clothes in my closet and I don’t know which ones to wear. I don’t even know what I’d do with myself if someone gave me another set of pajamas!
But I digress. This article isn’t about my crippling inability to decide even the most mundane things; it’s about your crippling inabilities. In Unleash Your Inner Tyrant!, I teach people how to outsource blame, but this will take you one step further.
Here are a few (bad) decisions, in life and business, that you should try to avoid:
1. Send Every Decision to Committee
A great way to avoid responsibility is to distribute that responsibility across as many different people as possible. Thanks to Moore’s Law, which states that when the number of people you add into a decision-making process increases arithmetically, the number of communications between those people increases exponentially, the more people you ask to weigh in on a given decision, the less likely it is that said decision will ever be made.
2. Make Sure Everything is Perfect Before Moving Forward
Since perfection is patently impossible, it’s important that you don’t expect perfection from yourself and others before you send anything on to the next step.
Trying to make sure that everything is perfect is probably a large part of the reason that Blackberry spent 9,000 years rolling out their latest smartphone, just in time to be completely eclipsed by every other smartphone company on the planet–which means less work they’ll have to do in the future, ordering parts and processing invoices!
3. Pay More Attention to Risks Than Rewards
Every decision involves potential failure. You can’t propose something to someone without risking that they’ll say no; and you can’t have children without risking that they’ll grow up to be annoying. And a lot of them do.
So as long as you focus on the inherent risks instead of the potential successes, you’ll paralyze yourself into a state of perpetual indecisiveness worthy of the noble platypus — an egg-laying, duck-billed, beaver-tailed, otter-footed mammal (seriously, platypus, what are you? Are you a duck, a beaver, a mammal – pick something already!).
If you avoid taking risks, I hope you enjoy the life of constant nothing that awaits you! Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m about to die from hunger. Thankfully, the only foods I have to choose from are Nilla wafers and mayonnaise. It’s not quite peanut butter and jelly, but it’s close.
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Jeff Havens is a comedian, corporate speaker and author of How To Get Fired! and Unleash Your Inner Tyrant! Jeff helps people succeed at leadership, communication, professional development and more by telling them exactly what not to do –the perfect blend of comedy and content.
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