The Inner Theatres of Decision-Making

This somewhat extended Fulcrum was originally prompted by events within the European union, where the quality – or lack of – decision-making processes is being acutely magnified. Decision-making is a make-it-or-break-it leadership capability and as such it is vital to be aware of the inner formations that drive our decision-making processes, some of which are highlighted in what follows.


There are two kinds of hesitations: The kind that saves lives and the kind that can lead to catastrophes. The arena that magnifies the two most lucidly is that of decision-making processes.

Hesitation Of The Wrong Kind Is A Killer Of Opportunities
Current events, such as the Euro-land crisis, highlight this distinction in no uncertain terms. Anyone with a perceptive faculty can feel the vibes of hesitation and inability to make needed decisions even when the outlook is a looming calamity. It’s not because there are no ways forward but rather because those tasked to make crucial decisions either have not the personal development to provide a fitting response or are held back by those who don’t. And yes, while it may not appear to be the case at first sight, much of it is about personal development of those in charge.

The main culprits causing hesitancy in high-level decision-making are growing complexity, volatility, uncertainty and unpredictability. In this environment, a person’s ability to sort the wheat from the chaff, to filter out the huge variety of white noises is indispensable.

The Twins
Hesitation has a twin called Mr. Fixed: Being already decided before making a decision. The combination of lost in hesitation and fixed in pre-decision inflicts mental blindness, awareness blackout and dominance. If you are already decided, it’s dominant in seen and subtle ways, preventing mission critical forums from making critical, well-informed decisions. One of the greatest process killers is the kind of fixed pre-decision that is sourced in hidden agendas; where the name of the inner difference in an individual between what they portray – “I am open minded” – and what is really the case is: Deception. And the thing is that our instincts feel deception quite acutely, don’t we?

Precious Time
Time is the task master of hesitancy, with the ever-present question being: Is there time? Because when time runs out, it makes the decision for you: If you don’t it always will. What appears inside of the space of time that is available for hesitation determines the outcome. Is it astute perception or perception deficiency; arresting fear or cool evaluation; debilitating pressure and stress or serene intactness; the freeze syndrome or necessary re-think?

The Flip-Flop
And then there is the infamous flip-flop syndrome. Now you want it, next you don’t. Now you agree, next you disagree. Now you say “yes’, next you change your mind. “I want it, I want it not”. We all flip-flop many times a day in harmless ways about little things, don’t we? The issue becomes quite serious when flip-flop mentalities affect people and situations with undesirable consequences.

On-route summation: There is ‘wisdom hesitancy’ and ‘arresting hesitancy’. There is the intelligently open mindset and the already fixed mindset, with the flip-flop syndrome lurking in the mental twilights of our yes’s and no’s.


The Power of Simple
In encountering complicated complexity the best and only strategy is to know how to be simple. The ability to be simple in the right way – simple as against simplistic – is one of the greatest developments that any of us can attain. You can’t be simple just by saying to yourself: “I am now going to practice simplicity”. The incomprehensible complexity that exists inside of any one brain – mine, yours’ everyone’s – when combined with more brains joining the decision-making fray, as any engaged executive knows all too well, makes for potentially grueling and unwieldy decision-making processes.

Which naturally ushers us to the fascinating, ever expanding universe of personal development.

The Vital Balance
As human beings, we constantly alternate between two fundamental modes that are part of our natural design, that anchor two complementary energy states: Human Doing and Human Being, also known as the Doing and Being Lives of the human. Of course it’s not entirely a clear-cut case of one or the other. At any given point in time there is a mix of balances between the two in play in each and every one of us.

There is a very great deal to be said about this vital balance, it’s many outplays and how it reflects our personal development. Perform a quick action and then repeat it in slow motion to experience the difference between the two. In essence, the doing life is short-term oriented while the being life is long-term oriented; the doing is more about skills and abilities while the being is more about qualities. The being life allows for a deeper awareness and heightened perception while the doing life is a potent rapid response mechanism.

The Wold We Live In Is Hell-Bent On The Short-Term
The original ‘factory settings’ balance between the two states is meant to be rocker-bar like, revolving around 50:50. However, our world is short-term oriented, which makes it by large quite blind and slow to respond to long-term needs and consequences. This state of affairs has brought about a shift from the whereabouts of 50:50, into am extreme state of something to the effect of 90% doing to 10% being and as a direct consequence, 90% reactive and 10% perceptive.

This outcome affects all of us to lesser or greater extent. Even if a person’s development enables him or her to maintain a near-correct personal balance they cannot not be affected by the moods, intensities and cycles of the world around them. This is where leadership and its deep connection with personal development come into play: True leaders are able to influence from a correct and effective inner balance.

The Immense Value Of Self-Awareness
Due to its fundamental positioning, becoming aware of the being-doing mechanism presents us with remarkable personal growth opportunities, executed through the media of inspiringly simple practices. As an example: Taking the occasional side-step to create a quiet moment, to engage in a little search process to discover the question(s) that need to/want to be asked. Sounds simple, but when did you last do it as part of an ongoing, self-determined, repetitive practice..?

Developing ‘Side-Step’ Capabilities
Well-informed decision-making – especially when it concerns the long-term – cannot be made while in the unyielding, relentlessly demanding, high-pressure-cooker environment of the short-term oriented human doing majority state. When a decision-making forum assembles, if they are unable to make a side-step into a being state that opens the space to think, dwell, consider, perceive and act from a long-term perspective and also from an inner state of serenity, the potential for mistakes and bad judgment can rise exponentially. This is the reason why so many decision-making processes are fundamentally flawed by design.

There are, of course, decisions that must be made under extreme pressure and time exigency. This is where the depth of personal development of the decision-makers makes all the difference as it is a matter of inner balance. If the need to make a critical decision challenges decision-makers who are already out of balance due to lack of personal development, the likely outcome will be conflicts, arguments, indecision and incorrect decisions. Watch the news today for case-studies.

This is why statistically most strategies do not or only partially work. The decision-making processes that give birth to those strategies all too often tend to be overly reactive and blind to crucial insights, outlooks and facts.

Imagine a world influenced and led by people who are in a real personal development journey. And at this point this issue lands squarely in our court, doesn’t it..?

David Gommé
World Copyright 2011 © David Gommé

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