“Put a picture of your family on your desk. This will be a reminder that every decision you make should be in their best interest.” — John Black

When I was a head coach, I felt the need to fire an assistant coach. It was the first time I was going to do this. It was a burden that I wrestled with for a while. I could be a nice guy and keep the status quo or I could make the difficult decision and let him go. I finally committed to letting him go when I looked at the picture of my family on my desk and asked, “Is this coach able to help me take care of my family?” The answer was easy. It was “no.” After consulting with human resources, I met with him and told him I was letting him go. Like most cases, there was pushback, and as I listened, I kept thinking of my family and stood my ground. He wasn’t going to help me provide for my family. He wasn’t going to add enough value to my program that I would be able to keep my job. It made it easier to execute the tough decisions all leaders face.

Take as much time as possible to think through the potential outcomes that will come from critical decisions. What are the unintended consequences? Ask questions of trusted advisors. Slow down.

Core values and mission statements are key to making decisions. These are the rudder that will keep your ship sailing in the right direction when you are faced with the rough seas of leadership.

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