Updated: Jun 13, 2022
I believe it was Cyrus the Great who said "Diversity in counsel, unity in command”, meaning that effective leaders seek the counsel of others, but maintain control over the final decision. In this article, we are going to explore big decisions and how seeking good counsel in making software decisions may be very important in easing the fatigue.
John F. Kennedy's Big Hairy Audacious Goal to go to the moon was inspirational but it wasn't his decision alone. He was the leader and the catalyst in the drive to get there first, but his counsel was diverse.
I believe that most executive directors for nonprofits would agree that good counsel is prudent and welcome in order to make bold decisions in which will move their respective association’s mission forward. However, perhaps the most impactful item to weigh is where, when, and how much counsel one receives or requires in order to make a decision.
Making the Decision to Buy Software
Let’s face it; we are all inundated with tons of content everyday. In fact, the term “information chaos” is likely the most applicable statement of the day. Take for example a few stats which seem to accentuate the point:
Internet Usage: The typical Internet user is exposed to 1,707 banner ads per month
Information (over) load: Due to some finding too much content is linked to greater stress, and poorer health
Surge in Big Data : 90% of all the data in the world has been generated over the last two years
Obviously, the information we have today at our finger tips can be a distraction and often push one towards various reactions. One response may be “analysis paralysis”. Or, another elicit response may be for some people to feel overwhelmed and become fatigued simply by decisions in general. In fact, there is a term coined, Decision fatigue, which refers to the deteriorating quality of decisions made by an individual, after a long session of deliberation during decision-making.
There are very few people who can make big decisions on what seems to be a whim. For example, in Decision Points, written by George Bush, former President Bush woke up one day after a night of heavy drinking (and years of it) and decided to stop. He stated that he had thoughts during his customary jog in the morning that it was time to make a change. This decision point invariably had far-reaching ramifications for both former President Bush but also set in motion a course which changed the lives of millions for years to come. In hindsight, his decision wasn't actually without counsel, he made the decision through thoughtful prayer and per former President Bush had received counsel from the most trusted adviser we can all have in our lives, God.
When making a decision it’s paramount to have the following traits from your counsel:
Credibility of Source:
You truly need to find a credible source. It’s important that you find someone who is not just telling you what they believe you want to hear. Rather, you need someone who will tell you the unedited version of the truth. In this day and age, misinformation is rampant on most topics. When you find a true source, consider yourself fortunate.
In addition, you need to find an agnostic source of information. It’s important to discern any hidden or competing agendas from your source of information. In terms of software buying, the old adage, "If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail" comes to mind with regards to sales, marketing, or even service providers during software decisions. Most of the time, their lens is clouded by what they see.
Be cautious. Seeking counsel in order to sort through the content from the wrong source which aren’t qualified or experienced will equally be a waste of time and potentially cause distress. You need counsel which is well versed in your industry and has experience in dealing with similar situations.
So, the saying from Cyrus the Great still rings true today. Selecting software and making a good business decision in doing so is critical for most associations and nonprofits. And, it's likely that good advice from a trusted adviser is warranted along your path.
If you find yourself suffering from analysis paralysis, increasingly confused by all the noise or simply need an ear to help alleviate some of the fatigue, you will find it here with SmartThoughts. We have many ways to help.
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