It's exhausting, this constant pressure that exists in the "real world." We're making decisions today that outline the rest of our lives. The choices we make now help us discover who we are, what we want in life, where we live and what people we want to spend our time with. How do you know which path is best? The truth is, you don't.
In our work lives, we are constantly asking questions, evaluating our options, and making decisions. This swirl of considerations can be overwhelming at times, and with so many questions to ask it can be hard to know which is more important. The most important career question you'll ever ask is only three letters long, but packs one heck of a punch. The question is...why?
If you find yourself overwhelmed or stuck in making a financial decision, look inwards. This hesitance is a sign that there is an underlying issue you're struggling with. It can also mean that you are not considering the proper context. Are you too focused on the future and forgetting about today? Are you living according to your value system? Or conversely, are you so fearful of the future that you won't look at it and you live only for today? Either way, you're avoiding the real issue.
The fact is that life does not give us the luxury of avoiding decisions; it does not allow us to simply get by without ever taking a stand. In being called upon to act -- with actions, by definition, being black-and-white -- we are called upon to inherently make clear-cut decisions. You do, or you do not. There is no middle possibility of acting and not-acting at the same time. In action, a definite choice must be made.
Antonio Damasio, (2003, Looking for Spinoza) the renowned neuroscientist, has demonstrated the important role of emotions in decision-making. When we insist on removing emotions from our decisions, we are ignoring the emotional part of our decision-making process. Why do we choose to avoid emotion, especially in a business or professional setting?
My life has been full of big decisions lately. The kind that feel like decisions that will shape my future happiness and I sometimes feel the burden of choice weighing on me. It's reassuring to know that it's essential that both reason and emotion play such a vital role in decision-making. I always thought my gut was tied to my emotions -- I actually think it's one and the same.
Trust at the board level is necessary at three intersection points: board and CEO, board member to board member, and CEO to C-suite. Why does trust matter? Think about the transactional costs of a low-trust relationship. In low trust relationships, suspicion abounds and parties feel compelled to paper every decision and every discussion. What can boards and executives do about this? Here is some advice.