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Small Decisions, Big Impacts

“You are not the victim of the world, but rather the master of your own destiny. It is your choices and decisions that determine your destiny.”

Roy T Bennett

You never know how a small decision can impact your future….

During my freshman year in high school, my close friend Bobby and I got cut from our basketball team. Our freshman class of five hundred students contained many strong players. We weren’t one of them.

While we sat together stewing about our rejection on the 3:00 PM homeward bound bus, I noticed a group of students heading out to the soccer field. Not wanting to go home, I begged Bobby to attend soccer tryouts with me. Though neither of us knew how to play, we were both pretty competitive people and the recent disappointment didn’t sit well. We got off the bus and made our way over to the soccer field.

When we arrived, there were ten lines of students on the field. Nine of these lines were long and the tenth only had about three people. Bobby and I played the odds and went to the line with three players. The short line turned out to be for goalies.

My friend Bobby made the team and became Captain and made All State as a goalie. He received a scholarship to the University of Pennsylvania and played Varsity Soccer.

Me? I decided to buy a set of golf clubs and settle in for the life of an 18 handicap.

Years later during our twenty fifth high school reunion, Bobby grabbed me aside to speak. He wanted to thank me for yanking him off that 3:00 PM bus. He told me that might rank as one of the top three decisions in his life. He met his wife at Penn, attended law school at Villanova, raised a family, and went on to enjoy a successful career providing legal advice to Human Resource executives.

One small decision with a big impact.

Something we fail to do often is to take success in our own hands. It is so easy to blame somebody or something else if we fail to get something we want. Some people wait for their ship to come in rather than swimming out to it.

Here is what I know. There are three types of people in this world. Those who make things happen, those who watch things happen, and those who wonder what just happened.

In the world of management or leadership, we make small decisions every day. The impact of these decisions can be small or large. We never know for sure. There will be positive impacts, negative impacts and unintended consequences. Even a decision not to make a decision is in fact a decision.

Decision making is a task that cannot be escaped. Both in our professional and personal lives.

Knowing that mistakes will be made, I have always tried to follow these principles as closely as possible:

·     Will my team’s perception of this decision be consistent with my known philosophy?

·       Is my decision consistent with my purpose as a leader?

·       Will the decision impact my ability to look at “The Guy in the Glass”?

Small decisions often make big impacts on our careers and personal lives. And those of people around us.

Seizing initiative shines light on a proverb often repeated by Albert Einstein- “Sich regen brinst Segen”. Hard work brings its own reward.

The choice you make makes you.

Happy New Year

Patrick McGarry

Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida

Patrick J McGarry

Patrick J McGarry

Skilled Relationship Builder | Courageous Decision Maker | Results Driven Leader | Business Development Pioneer |

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