As a leader, you don’t always have to have the best idea. But you do have to recognize the best idea. And then you have to make the decision to go with that idea.
Some decisions are easy. Others … not so much.
Is The Juice Worth The Squeeze
There is a funny comedy called The Girl Next Door starring Emile Hirsch and Elisha Cuthbert. It’s a zany story about a high school guy who’s trying to win a scholarship. He always plays it safe and never does anything wild. Everything he does is to push towards his goal of a career in politics, so he keeps his world really buttoned up.
And then he falls for the new girl that’s just moved in next door. The catch is … she used to be a porn star. He lets loose, gets himself into deep waters, and around every turn he’s forced to make big decisions that could affect his future.
The theme (and a line in the movie) is this: Is the juice worth the squeeze? It’s a great line to think of when you’re under pressure and you have to force yourself to stop cold so you can weigh the consequences of your decisions.
The Juice, The Squeeze, And Making A Decision
You’re under pressure, people and situations are coming at you a hundred miles an hour from all directions and everyone is looking at you to make the call. The best thing to do is STOP.
Maybe you’ve got 3 weeks to do this. And maybe you only have 3 seconds. S.T.O.P. is an acronym used in wilderness training to offset panic and teach people how to deal with unexpected situations. It works in the concrete jungle too. Clear minds always prevail.
You can make split-second decisions when your experience or your gut tells you it’s the right move. If you’re not sure though, and you try to force a big decision then you usually have a 50/50 chance of being right. Probably less than that because neither of your initial options might be the best. The best decision might be one that goes in a totally different direction.
Explore your options. Look beyond what is right in front of you. Maybe there’s a creative solution that makes this not such a difficult decision after all.
Once you know your options, it’s time to weigh them. This is where you figure out if the juice is worth the squeeze. List the good points and the bad points. Factor in the short term and the long term repercussions. See what or who else you can bring in to turn some of the bad points into good ones.
By this time you should find yourself leaning towards a particular decision. Test it. Bounce it off the wall. Roll it around. Look and see if there’s anything you’ve missed. Look into the future and really be honest about what might or might not happen if you make this decision the way you think you’re going to make it.
It’s time to make your executive decision. But it isn’t a simple decision and you have to make sure it’s executed properly to take advantage of the good points and skirt around the pitfalls.
If there are other people involved, make sure everyone knows what to do and why it has to be done a certain way. Outline the steps to be taken. Ensure that everyone is aware of the pitfalls and that they know the goals they need to reach.
After The Dust Settles
Good decisions pay off. You know when you’ve made one. Everyone knows it. No matter how hard they are to make at the time, as long as you stop, and ask, “Is the juice worth the squeeze?”, the outcome after a good decision will always tell you …
“You’re damn right it is”.