Making Difficult Decisions
Making Difficult Decisions to Cancel Projects, Reschedule Events or Otherwise Impact Your and Others' Lives
It is often easier to let things just keep rolling along than to make changes. There are almost always drawbacks as well as benefits to making significant changes. It seems that most often the benefits have to significantly outweigh the drawbacks of making a change before people will make the decision to change.
Yesterday I met with someone to discuss an event we're helping organize. For several reasons the other person suggested it might be better to reschedule the event to a later date. My immediate reaction was to think of reasons that rescheduling was a bad idea. However, after discussing why rescheduling was suggested and the negative aspects of not sticking to our original target date, we agreed to recommend to the rest of the planning group that the event move from a spring date to a summer or fall date.
Difficult decisions usually involve several factors in which people involved in the decision have a personal and emotional involvement. Although passion is required to make all worthwhile things happen, people also need the ability to accurately determine when that passion may be preventing them from making smart decisions.
Why did I immediately object when it was suggested we reschedule the event?
- I'm really looking forward to participating in the event.
- I feel I didn't help manage the event planning well enough to allow us to hit our target date.
- Rescheduling may reflect badly on me since I was one of the initiators.
- At least one of the planners may not be able to participate if we reschedule.
- The event venue is arranged for, which is one of the more challenging aspects of planning the event.
There are good reasons for rescheduling the event
- An inadequate number of people on the planning team.
- A lack of primary sponsors for the event.
- A conflicting event being held only a couple days before our targeted date.
Truly difficult decisions are things such as deciding to not take heroic efforts to prolong your life or that of someone for whom you have responsibility, decding to change from your parents' religion to your spouse's religion, telling your conservative family members that you're gay, or giving up a $200,000/year salary to work with the poor and earn $10,000/year. But it's easy to forget what's important in life and think that everything one is working on should be considered high priority by those around us. Relationships are what matter, so build, feed and treasure yours.