In 2016 I’m embracing the decision.

Veeam CEO Ratmir Timashev recently wrote in a Fortune article, “It’s better to make a bad decision than to make no decision at all.” And that got me thinking.

When things aren’t going so great, I get super freaked out. Or scared. Or sad. Or mad. But, whatever I am at the time, I know I’ve got to keep going, try to keep a clear head and decide which way to go. Out the window? Through the door? Left at the fork? What do I do next? A decision needs to be made, so I make one. Instinctively I know I can only stop and freeze for so long.

When everything’s going OK, status quo, boring even, that’s when I really freeze up.

Once you notice these feelings, these “indicators”, you’ve already done a lot of the hard work. Just noticing there is something going on is a step forward, and harnessing that momentum gets you to decision, even if the decision is to ultimately stay put.


Change your mindset to consider that your problems are really more opportunities to make decisions. And decisions get you closer to outcomes. And that’s what it’s all about.

Playing it safe doesn't pay off

I saw Tig Notaro speak at a regional 3% Conference in Portland, Oregon, earlier this year. She was hysterical, of course, but one thing she said really resonated with me. When asked where she likes to perform, she said she prefers the hard gigs, the ones in small towns, where she has to work hard for every laugh. “The minute I feel safe,” she said, “That’s when I know I’m in trouble.”

It's OK to be wrong

If you plan to move into high gear on the decision-making front, understand that the odds are 100% that you’ll be wrong. Making mistakes is how we learn, and course correcting as we go is a way of life. “You can usually correct something that’s wrong,” wrote Timashev, “but you don’t always get a second chance.”

How much more could you accomplish in your day if you gave up a 5% margin for error? Would you trade the chance you might be wrong for the windfall of getting more done? Studies show that success rates are more closely tied to productivity than accuracy, so consider “deciding” to let go—just a little—of the need to be right in favor of keeping the ball moving forward.

Build a positive outlook

We all know from experience that we often end up better off on the other side of a trying experience. You’ve had that happen, right? And maybe you told yourself that next time you would remember that you’ll likely end up in a better place when it’s all over. I did. But, of course, something else invariably happened, and then I forgot to heed the very advice I had wisely given myself. Commit to memory the reality that things often work out for the best. Especially if you make a decision along the way. That’s a ticket to the other side that you can control.

Consider the reality that if you don’t make decisions they will be made for you. Knowing that, what if you decided to make some super big, bold decisions this year? Not because you were forced to, but because you chose to. After all, as the author Karen Lamb famously wrote, “A year from now you may wish you had started today.”

Kari Olivier worked in various corporate marketing roles before migrating to the agency side. Kari is a writer, workshop facilitator, marketing strategist, and advisor to leaders at Fortune 500 companies and SMBs. She is co-founder of Jute Creative, a branding, marketing and communications agency in Portland, Oregon.

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Career development, Jute Creative, Leadership, Personal development, Portland, Productivity, Time management

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