Do you “Understand the times and know what you should do”? (212-2)
We make decisions every day, and the patterns we establish in the small decisions shape the larger ones. Read 1 Chronicles 12:32.
The background for 1 Chronicles 12:32 is that Israel’s first King, Saul, was dead. David, from the tribe of Judah had been appointed King and was ruling the nation from the city of Hebron. Many of the fighting men from each of the other 11 tribes of Israel were coming to Hebron to turn Saul’s kingdom over to David and re-unify the nation. This simple statement, tucked away in the middle of a listing of the men who had volunteered to serve David and who supported his anointing as king over all Israel, tells us of some men from the tribe of Issachar “who understood the times and knew what Israel should do.”
Over the years I have found the statement from the men of Issachar held two key prerequisites for good decision making:
- Awareness – understand the times. Good decisions require adequate information and careful analysis of the pertinent facts.
- Decisiveness – once the truth is known, make the decision, communicate that decision to those who need to know and implement the decision.
Often a part of a leader’s learning process in making good decisions comes from making a bad decision. Identify two or three of the worst decisions you have ever made and think about the number of times you have revisited them and imagined what would have been different if you had made a different decision. What would you have done differently to get better information? Did you rely totally on your own knowledge or intuition rather than seeking expert counsel? Did you pull the trigger on the decision before all the facts were in because of “fear of loss, or failure, or people”? Did you delay making the decision too long because of the same fears?
What decisions do you need to make right now? Do you have the facts? Are you prepared to be decisive once you are sure of the facts? Effective leaders seek counsel from industry leaders and trusted advisers with the goal of amassing information that will lead to an understanding of a given situation. Once the effective leader “understands the times” and “knows what they should do” they waste little time in implementing the decision they have made.
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