Some days are just awful. That’s how this day started. I joined a meeting, and I wasn’t prepared. I was hoping to just sit back and hopefully slide by without contributing.
Then the dreaded question came up…
“Karl, are you ready?”
All eyes turned to me.
“Ready for what?” I replied.
“Are you ready to show us your plan?”
“Ahhh, it’s not ready yet.”
I totally dropped the ball. I hated the job and wanted to quit, but I was too scared. I was coasting and hoping that no one would notice.
I know. It was a terrible plan.
Looking back on this moment, I see so many learning opportunities. One of them was understanding my thought process. I thought I could just coast and never have any consequences. I decided to procrastinate. I decided to avoid doing the work. I decided not to try my best.
Every decision I had made over the last six months ended up with me turning bright red in front of the whole room and giving a lame excuse. I don’t even remember what I said. I just felt ashamed.
I never wanted to feel like that again.
Reflecting on my decisions leading up to that moment, I realized something important. I lost all desire to do the job well. Of course, I was making bad decisions. I didn’t value myself or the job.
When we make bad decisions, it’s not just the one decision that doomed us. It was the 1000 little choices that led to our downfall. That’s a poor mindset. I talk about developing a billionaire’s mindset like Oprah or Bill Gates, not because they are perfect, but because they found a way to be self-aware so that no one could tear them down.
That’s what I want for you. You must start by digging into yourself to understand how each decision has added to your story. Joseph Cambell talks about the hero’s journey. We are all heroes in our journey if we choose to look at it this way. This lens of life can be empowering. It encourages us to get back up and try again.
The way we understand ourselves is by looking at how we make decisions. What lens do we see life from? Do you see choices as an opportunity or a potential disaster?
As you understand that decision lens you created, you can begin to work with it and make adjustments to make better decisions faster.
There are five main professional decision-maker personality types:
Each one has its strengths and weaknesses. We need all of these types in the workplace. Cautious decision-makers need hopeful people in their lives. This helps them balance out their cautiousness.
The same goes for the others. Hopeful people need cautious people to keep them grounded. Fast decision-makers need curious people who help them slow down and think things through.
We all have varying degrees of decision-maker types within us, but there is usually a dominant one that guides our decisions. When you understand which decision-maker personality type you are, it helps you make better decisions faster.
If you want to learn about which decision-maker personality type you are, try the decision-maker personality quiz. It will help you make some new connections.
Check out what three people said about the quiz:
Maria said, “I believe cautious aligns well with the critical thinking required in my nursing career.”
Sherry said, “I got curious. It’s interesting that now that I don't work, I take more time, ask more questions, and think that I make better decisions.”
Matt Sonetto said, “I tested out Hopeful and that’s accurate. I often believe things will work out regardless, but it’s a valid point that it can leave a blind spot if not careful.”
Don’t treat your career like I did, just coasting to get by. Take back the wheel of your career and be the captain. You know if where you are isn’t satisfying and you need to make a change. It’s just about creating a flight plan to get there. Then taking small actions to get the feedback you need to course-correct your career.
You’ll get more insight into yourself and be able to connect with people who can help balance you out in your career. The Decision-maker quiz takes less than 10 minutes. What are you waiting for? Get started on improving how you make decisions to grow your career.
Image courtesy of Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash