A few years ago, I read a very interesting book while on holiday in Holland – The Anatomy of Decisions by P.G. Moore and H.Thomas. First published in 1976, it describes decision trees in some detail. I want to share this snippet from it with you:
We need to distinguish between a good decision and a good outcome. We are all familiar with situations in which careful management and extensive planning produced poor results, whilst a disorganised and badly-managed competitor produced a spectacular success.
As an extreme example…
Place yourself in the position of the company chief executive who has just discovered that a valuable and trusted subordinate, whose numerous judgements in the past had proved unfailingly accurate, had based his decisions upon the advice of a gypsy fortune-teller.
Would you promote the subordinate, or fire him? (The answer, of course, is to fire him and hire the gypsy as a consultant!)
The path to success is littered with decisions, so it is a good idea to consider what success looks like.
My personal favourite definitions of success are:
To laugh much; to win respect of intelligent persons and the affections of children; to earn the approbation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty; to find the best in others; to give of one’s self; to leave the world a little better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition; to have played and laughed with enthusiasm, and sung with exultation; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived — this is to have succeeded.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Try not to become a man of success, but rather try to become a man of value.