March Madness: Choices & Decisions

Your brackets are in. Your choices have been made. The first round of March Madness is complete. I hope you’re happy with your decisions. That’s where it all starts; with a decision. Whether you win your office tournament or not will be based on the decisions that you made for each game of each round. It’s that simple. How decisions are made when filling out brackets is the part that I find interesting, and sometimes just plain funny. Some decisions are made with absolutely no rationale at all. No analytics whatsoever. It’s like this ESPN Tournament Challenge commercial that showcases the various ways that people choose winners.

Although the commercial is pretty funny, I’m sure it actually has some validity to it as to how some folks actually choose winners for filling out brackets. What’s concerning is that some people take a similar arbitrary approach to choosing teams in the workplace. Leaders and executives may not use the same tactics showcased in the commercial (although that would be pretty funny), but when they do not put in the time, energy and effort to truly assess their needs and make their talent choices more deliberate, then they may as well be taking that arbitrary approach. Everything we do starts with a choice. Winning is a choice. Advancing is a choice. Success is a choice. Things do not just “happen to us”, we make things happen, or we simply allow things to happen by the decisions we make, or do not make.

The decisions we make in life need to be deliberate. We cannot allow success to be something that occurs by coincidence. You have to decide you are going to win. Expect that you are going to win. Then prepare for that win. But it starts with a decision. You’ll never be prepared for a victory that you haven’t decided you will win. The team that will win the College Basketball National Championship has already decided that they are going to win. They’ve envisioned it. They believe it and they’ve prepared for it. The team that an organization has put together let’s me know if they have made a decision to win or not. If your team lacks leadership, you have not decided to win. If your team lacks diversity, you have not decided to win. If your team lacks inclusion, you have not decided to win. You’re simply relying on coincidental success. No different than the approach in the ESPN commercial. Good Luck!

3 Habits of Deliberate Decision Makers:

  1. Leverage Insight to Foresight - Gather enough target and market intelligence to predict future needs and demands.
  2. Think from diverse perspectives - Approaching challenges from different perspectives allows you to consider options and creative solutions you may not have normally considered.
  3. Declare Victory - Proclaiming the victory and having everyone on the team proclaim it creates buy-in, strengthens belief and makes everyone accountable.

We make our choices, then our choices make us…#NoShortcuts

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