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  • Writer's pictureRich Honiball

Not Making A Decision Is Making A Decision

This is what heading to school early looks like...

Early Reflections: Wednesday, September 18th

"So close, no matter how far..." (Metallica lyrics, if you are curious). Our high school aged daughter was so close to making the bus this morning, but miles away from making the decision to do so. We will leave it at that for now....

But, the resulting conversation turned into one of my biggest pet peeves...those who make their decisions by not in fact making a decision at all. This may sound odd, but if you think about it, you likely see it every single day. People abdicating making a decision for a variety of reasons, and instead waiting until they are left with their last available option.

Think about it. How many times have you seen a situation where there are several options on the table. There is group debate, discussion, data & analytics, history, emotion, but in the end, a decision is not made. As time passes, more discussion, more data & analytics, more emotion...yet less options to consider as deadlines are passed, and finally the choice is made by default.

I've studied this over the years, curious as to why this happens and the only thing I have figured out...I don't think there is really a single reason why. I see cases where people have an opinion, but aren't prepared to defend it. Or they feel that they may have good reasoning, but won't be listened to, or worse yet, supported. Sometimes, they don't feel empowered to make the decision. And often times, they simply don't want to lean forward and own the result of failure as a result of their decision. Instead when the decision is made by default, it becomes easy to say "well, that is the only option I had left."

Today, we were left with only one option, the decision was made by default. But my daughter and I talked about it on the way to school, and tomorrow, we will try again!

Progress, not perfection.

(follow me @rhoniball or connect with me at


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