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  • Writer's pictureBob Prentice


When I was a farm kid some 50 years ago, I made some pretty bad decisions. As I reflect back on those days, I was reminded of this great story I'd like to share with you today.

A farm boy accidentally overturned his wagonload of corn. The farmer who lived nearby heard the noise and rushed right over. "Hey Willis!!" the farmer yelled. "Forget it for now. It's dinnertime. Come eat with us, and then we'll come back, and I will help you turn the wagon back up."

"That's mighty nice of you, " Willis answered, "but I don't think Pa would like me to."

"Aw, come on," the farmer insisted, "you have to eat! We'll get back to the wagon soon." "Well, okay," the boy finally agreed and added, "But Pa won't like it." After a hearty dinner, Willis thanked his host. "I feel a lot better now, but I know Pa will be really upset." "Don't be foolish." the neighbor said with a smile. "By the way, where is your Pa?" "Under the wagon."

Wow! The farmer thought he knew and understood the situation, but obviously, he didn't! He was missing one critical piece of information, which would have changed everything! At our place, one phrase often heard is: New information causes change!

These days in the age of the internet, social media, and smartphones, new information is coming to us constantly, often at blazing speeds. We are making our decisions quicker than ever. I am not sure if we are better off for it. Making quicker decisions may mean we are making fewer good decisions and less well-thought-out decisions. The results may not always be what we had hoped for.

My best advice when it comes to decision-making is to slow down and get all the facts. Do not be in such a rush. Make the phone call, ask the questions, listen and capture the answers. Yes, it requires more time now; however much better than ten times more wasted time down the road due to poor decision-making. It's only taken me a lifetime of problems and challenges to figure this out. But I'm learning!

I love teaching and training about leadership, so if you're looking for a keynote speaker for your organization's conference, a trainer for your next leadership development training, or a staff meeting, let's talk! Feel free to check out my Keys To Better Leadership page to learn about the many topics I can speak on pertaining to leadership.

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