3 Questions to a Decision When Things are Uncertain

Ambiguity is always present in a world filled with people, change, and opportunity.

Only the dead are certain.

In praise of imperfect decisions:

Clarity and confidence develop as you go, not before you go.

An imperfect decision is better than none, if you learn as you go. But lack of decision-making leads to stagnation, pessimism, and deeper distress.

Things don’t magically get better on their own.

The worst thing you can do is nothing.

The temptation to stew over tough decisions too long  is universal. If you’re stuck and the situation is ambiguous, don’t let your decision simmer any longer. Do something – don’t think something.

Doing instigates thought. But thinking and re-thinking – apart from action – fuels fear.

Soren Kaplan, author of Leapfrogging, told me, “It doesn’t matter what you do next as long as you do something and learn.” He continued…

“Do something you believe is right – that aligns with values and makes sense – and you create optimism. The exciting thing about optimism is it fuels action.”

The 1 to 10 scale:

Use the 1 to 10 scale when situations are ambiguous, and outcomes are uncertain.

3 questions:

  1. On a scale of 1 to 10, if you continue down the same path, how certain is a positive outcome? (1 = not at all. 10 = complete confidence.)
  2. With your number in mind, what might you STOP doing *today that will move this situation/opportunity in a positive direction?
  3. With your number in mind, what might you DO *today that will move this situation/opportunity in a positive direction?

*Any action you do today must be reasonably small and imperfect.

Face ambiguity and uncertainty with thoughtful action. Make a small decision and take the next imperfect step.

Take the next imperfect step – as long as you’re reasonably certain it won’t cause harm.

How might leaders make decisions when situations are ambiguous and outcomes are uncertain?