Think about a time when you had to make a decision. If you can, think about a decision that had the ability to affect other people and also carried some weight based on the outcome. It can be a business decision or personal decision. Now, think back to the beginning. How were you presented with the situation? How much time did you have to make this decision? How did it play out, start to finish?

As you run this through your brain, I want to share a story with you. I had the honor and privilege of being a starting quarterback at the high school, collegiate, and professional level. As any quarterback will tell you, I was the decision maker. My decisions could literally affect the livelihood of everyone involved. I don’t want to be overdramatic, but I once had a coach tell me, “You are writing checks for the organization by your decision-making.” Point proven? That’s quite a lot of responsibility for one person. But I happen to believe its true.

As a quarterback, you are in charge of not only calling the play in the huddle, but also making sure the team gets into proper position, making any adjustments necessary based upon the game plan. Then, once the ball is snapped, you have a maximum of five seconds to execute the play. Five seconds! All while making adjustments based upon how the defense reacted in the previous play. Almost every play that is executed on the field is affected by a decision the quarterback makes, both good and bad.

Football is a game. There is always a winner and a loser. But who and what do your decisions directly affect? What’s at stake? Only the success of the entire organization.

People are at stake. Coaches, players, and front office employees are subject to the outcomes of any and every decision. Again, both good and bad.

Also, the brand is at stake. Football is part of the entertainment industry. From the high school level and up, people purchase tickets, watch games, buy merchandise, etc. These are the brand ambassadors of a team. And any decision that is made has a huge impact on them as well.

Now, the fun part. Knowing what you know now about how decisions can affect people at every level, how much time should one invest in developing the habits that will ultimately be used in making any decision?

If you went back and thought about a situation that was presented to you and the decision you had to make, evaluate it. How did it go? If the outcome was a success, think about how you got there. How much time did you put into developing the habits that were used in making the decision? If it did not go according to planned, think about why. Were you ill equipped to handle a decision of that magnitude? What if you had time to intentionally develop habits that would have helped you execute the decision successfully? Would you use it?

I know what you’re thinking. And yes, hindsight is always 20/20. You’re right. I don’t want to get into a coulda, shoulda, woulda argument. I am also aware that experience is the best teacher. And again, I don’t disagree. But think about how much time and money that poor decision cost you.

We have evolved as a society. Why are we still letting our egos get in the way with the “this is the way we have always done it” mentality? If you believe this to be an effective strategy, by all means, go for it. But let me tell you this: Your competition is finding a way to not make these mistakes.

Decision-making is key. Effective decision-making is a result of instilled habits. Developing habits takes time and intentionality. You can’t expect someone to make good decisions if you haven’t helped them develop great habits. If you have these unrealistic expectations, then you are rolling the dice. And if that is the case, I am sure you can find a cheap flight to Vegas.