This past Sunday, on our way home from church, Breana, our daughter (age 20), went on a positive, constructive rant, per se. Please note, we have a good many of those…

Much of what she said centered around her generation’s idea of making decisions based on emotions rather than factual information. As the conversation continued, I told Breana that I felt that she was way beyond her years in thinking, and to understand, that while she might see emotional decision making among her age group, that it also happens in all age groups and at all levels of leadership.

I have seen many leaders make decisions based on emotion. I acknowledge that there are those “gut decision” moments; however, when it comes to what truly affects the long term and creates a paradigm shift for the worse, emotional decisions hurt the future.

This idea goes beyond the “What was I thinking?” Usually, when I ask myself that, I wasn’t. Our emotions help define who we are, and emotions are not destructive. But… they can get in the way of how we respond and how we decide.

So… I thought I might start off the 2021 year with what I think hinders quality decision making when decisions are made by emotions…

Yes, I can get excited. Much about nothing and extremely much more about the things I am passionate about. Unbeknown to me (yeah, right), this affects my ability to make logical, factual decisions. The risk and the reward of what is at stake… Passion often leads you to make quick decisions. If you are not passionate about something, then most likely, you don’t care about the decision. This can lead to apathy, and we find ourselves not making a decision. Your passion does not change the facts.

We all get nervous… some more than others. Often, you will find that whatever decision you are “worried” about does not affect the outcome. Being nervous about one area can overflow into other areas. Being nervous creates a mindset of indecisiveness. That’s even worse. Your nerves do not change the facts.

Ever been mad and made a decision? Me too… Usually, they are rash and without much judgment and more times than not… regrettable. Unlike passion and nerves, anger is like that boiling pot of hot water. It just continues to get hotter and hotter until that steam has to go somewhere. Remember this adage… Anger is one letter away from Danger. Your anger does not change the facts.

As 2021 is now here, we do not want to live in the past, especially last year, 2020. Moving forward, we need leaders who can make decisions that can set their emotions aside and base their decisions on what the facts are. Emotional decisions create feelings, and those feelings are either good or bad. When our feelings start making decisions… well, it does not matter what the truth is.

As Joe Friday of Dragnet said, “Nothing but the facts.”

Go be a great educator and leader today… Our future needs it…

Remember… Think Leadership and Be For Others…

©2021 J Clay Norton

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