Some people are decision makers and some are not. At one time or another, we’ve probably all taken a personality profile test in school, for a job, or career counseling. According to the Meyers Briggs tests, less than 3% of the population are decision makers. Obviously, the USA needs leadership which is comfortable, natural, effortless, in the decision process. Right? Then, why do we have so many leaders who are afraid to make a decision?
Why have the leaders of the USA avoided making a decision on illegal immigration for the past 35 years? Why do our leaders purposely avoid the decision, except for President Trump? I’ve come to a personal conclusion. President Trump is not afraid to make a mistake….. because he can fix a mistake….. and no rational person expects all decisions to be perfect. Note: Ann Coulter is irrational on the issue of illegal immigration and demands perfection. We’re trying to get there.
Name one person whose every decision has been correct? None of us are so perfect and it’s obvious we cannot be so perfect. Why all the fear about an incorrect choice? I recall begging my kids to live a little dangerously, take a chance, screw up, while I could still protect them. No, running drugs or guns would be frowned upon, but take a chance, explore. Do it! Make the decision to step out, step up. Go. Do. Conquer. Fail. Reassemble. Conquer again. On a larger scale, it’s exactly what the President is doing with North Korea…. or China…. or the Congress. He’s making decisions and not afraid of the repercussions. He comes back, again and again, in pursuit of his goal.
Why are 97% of the people in the world uncomfortable with making a decision? Easy answer, because when someone else makes the decision, THEY suffer the consequences. Non-decision makers can remain safely on the sidelines. Blame is a cop out. Blame is easy….. just ask Pelosi, Schumer, McConnell, and Ryan. Decisions take courage. We describe President Trump as bold and fearless……. because he’s not afraid to make a decision.
Which leads to another conclusion: The paralysis which comes from avoiding a decision is not actual pain, it’s anticipatory pain….. imagined pain which MIGHT come from making a bad choice or avoiding the reality of a situation.
Think of the lengths some are willing to go to in order to avoid confrontation, and making a decision. Parents afraid to confront their child’s drug habit. Spouses afraid to confront their husband/wife spending habits or infidelity. Or a FISA judge unwilling to make a decision to confront the FBI/DOJ. The fear of the bad choice or reality learned in the confrontation paralyzes us. BUT there is a difference in avoiding a real and known to be real issue and/or avoiding an issue which is imagined and built up in our own minds.
It’s why we have Generals, who can make life and death choices, when decision making is serious business. For the rest of us, simple decision making should be embraced and not feared. We WILL make millions of bad choices in our lives.
There are many people in our lives who avoid decision making and have turned it into something of an artform. People who physically recoil and run away from making a choice. Heck, I was married to one, a strongly-willed man in every other aspect, but could not make up his mind to save his life. “Where do you want to go for lunch?”, I might ask. The response, “Whatever you want is fine.” They can’t even decide where to go for lunch! And if I decide where to go, and it’s not their wish, they suffer in silence and harbor resentment….. about a lunch spot!
I’ve had clients who left their IRA investment in a money market account, because they “couldn’t decide” on which mutual fund to pick. Who does that? LOTS of people.
Indecision, avoidance of making a decision, maintaining the status quo, is a particular problem in our bureaucracy. Perhaps, the best thing we could do to improve our civil service is stream out the non-decision makers. Yet, bureaucrats are worried about rocking the boat, and the fear of repercussions. Making the wrong choice may cost a job assignment, a career, or lead to malicious inter-office targeting. The FEAR of decision making is probably what caused the Russian Hoax. No one stepped up to stop it, maintain the status quo. The lack of decision making, or courage to make an ethical decision, still persists in the media. With the Obama holdovers in the DOJ/FBI, the fear was real and perpetuated the indecision and lack of courage, to the detriment of all Americans.
We could also make an argument the DNC and the media DID make a decision, a corrupt decision, to target an American President, their political enemy, which served their own interests. Yet, that’s the few in leadership roles. The overwhelming numbers of minions, thousands upon thousands, remained on the sideline…… silent.
Why do we have so many weak and indecisive people in our culture?
Did we rob our children of the ability to make decisions and thereby create MORE of a problem? As women joined the workforce and family income became a two income family, did we spoil an entire generation by making decisions on their behalf? Were helicopter moms created by guilt because we were not at home? Did we make up for lost personal time by spending more money on our kids? So they could do more? Were we afraid to let them fail? Look to the college admission scandal for an answer to that question.
When I was 10, my dad forced me to make my first big decision. I mistakenly invited two friends to spend the night and the rule was only one friend per night. I told dad my problem, and expected him to tell me what to do. He could have easily made an exception and allowed both girls to spend the night, but he took the opportunity to make it a lesson in decision making. He forced me to choose. It was the first time I recall my father was “mean to me”, as I “perceived” it. I remember whining, crying, being angry, upset he would not solve my problem, fearful of offending one friend. I could not understand why HE was causing me so much pain. I was physically recoiling from the responsibility of making a decision. He held fast. I was filled with dread and made lists of what to do = further avoidance. As the week wore on, I made a re-appeal for mercy. Nope. Not working. I called my one friend and told her she could not come. Fine, no big deal, and she understood the problem. Painless. Wow, was I surprised.
What was enormous in my mind, a problem which caused me days of angst, was solved in about two minutes. My problem was not a problem. It was imagined.
From that moment on, my father looked for creative ways to force my friends and me to make decisions. He was relentless. If we wanted to do something, anything, go anywhere, we had to present “our case” to him. Had we considered the danger, the risks, the good parts, the rewards, the cost versus potential gains. He was trying to make us responsible about our decisions, to plan as much as possible for risks ahead. I swear, on more than one occasion, he left my dates dumbfounded as they checked the tire pressure for their spare tire, before we were allowed to leave. It’s the way he was…., which changed everything about how my friends and I turned out. We all had cars in tip-top shape and any boyfriend I had…. learned to change the oil himself… with help from my dad. Heck, my first job was at a Jiffy Lube, I knew how to do the 14point top of engine inspection.
People in our age bracket, who grew up in the era of personal responsibility, understand problems presented in decision making. Military veterans have an acute understanding of the decision process. We analyze for risk, cost versus benefit, and we don’t expect someone to magically appear and save us. We make a choice, and if we are wrong, we adjust. Yet, we continue to pursue the goal……… just like President Trump is pursuing the problem of illegal immigration.
I submit, on this issue, many of those who are younger have made a false and political choice, based on bad information from media and other leaders who pursue their own agendas. Good decision making is not based on an age, exactly. For instance, if I could do it as a whiny 10yr old, of course, millennials can do it today. Will it be painful and will they react physically? Oh, yes, and maybe the reflex of those actions is what we are seeing today. We just need to get them the correct information and a steadfast Dad. They need a guy like my dad, pointing out all the things which could happen, which they never considered, to become responsible about their decision making. They need a guy who is objective, not afraid to force a decision, and has their best interests at heart.
That guy is President Trump.