A Lesson In Decision Making From A Historic Commander-in-Chief

From my perspective, a key characteristic of a leader is there ability to make decisions under extreme pressure.

So you ask yourself, can I effectively make a tough decision when I am unsure of the outcome?

Norman Schwarzkopf was a Commander-in-Chief during the Gulf War. He used to tell a story about an early mentor of his, a general in the Army.

There was a decision in regards to the politics of the war that had to be made. The importance of this decision was 10 years of history going back and forth with the pentagon to decide whether they should go in one direction, or another. It was a huge decision that was going to effect the way the army was structured. A group of the highest ranking officials brought huge stacks of documents and complicated technical explanations.

The general just looked at them said…

And he gave them the answer.

After they left, Schwarzkopf was freaking out. He knew there was no way that general could’ve even read everything he read. This was such a complex situation with so many parts to consider. Schwarzkopf, who was a much lower-ranked officer at the time, strummed the courage to go asked his mentor how he could possibly have taken such decisive action.

The general replied,

Schwarzkopf asked

The General replied

Schwarzkopf never forgot that experience.

Moral Of The Story:

The only real failure is failing to decide.

Let go of your desire to be perfect and make that decision you’ve been putting off.

Then be done with it.

Self-reflective writings & book summaries on philosophy, psychology and human behaviour. Video’s + podcast → youtube.com/emmanualalexander

Self-reflective writings & book summaries on philosophy, psychology and human behaviour. Video’s + podcast → youtube.com/emmanualalexander