Have you ever made a bad decision? I sure have, and I’ve thought quite a bit about what went wrong. At first, it wasn’t obvious, but I have discovered a common problem that is present in many of our bad decisions.
When it comes to bad decisions, I can think of a “doozy”. In 1988, the Governor of Texas asked me to run for the Texas State Senate, although I was not active in politics.
During the campaign, I made an expedient decision. I had good intentions but was motivated by fear of the possibility of losing the election.
I made a quick decision “on the spot” to allow some people to send out a mail piece on my behalf. They even paid for all of the associated expenses! In my haste, I failed to:
- Run the idea by my campaign committee. (My thinking was that I was the candidate, and I should be making decisions.)
- Approve the mail piece with my name all over it before it was mailed (or at least let my campaign committee approve it.)
- Approve the mail list that the people were going to use.
After the piece was already mailed, I learned:
- The people used a mail piece we would not have approved.
- They got over-zealous and expanded the mail list to include potential voters who did not want to receive the mail piece.
Well, even though this bad decision did not cost me the election, I spent a lot of time “mending fences”.
What are expedient behaviors?
Expedient behaviors are those which can be done quickly and easily and which apparently will fulfill a person’s immediate self-interests. Done without consideration of what is just, fair, or right for the long-term.
If we want to reduce expedient behavior, the first step is to learn how to identify its tell-tale signs.
Every person can identify expedient behavior by recognizing the following characteristics and consequences.
The following are characteristics of expediency:
- Quick and Easy
- Short-Term Pleasure
- Short-Term Gain
- Immediate Gratification
Please keep in mind, expedient behavior is rooted in fear. Fear that you are going to lose something you don’t want to lose. Or, fear that you are going to experience something you don’t want to experience.
For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control. 2 Timothy 1:7 ESV
When expedient behavior becomes a habit, your life and business suffer unhealthy consequences.
The following are examples of the impact and consequences of expediency:
Principle vs. Expediency
When these unhealthy consequences occur, do you “blow them off” with excuses by blaming someone else or something else? Or, do you learn from them and change to a principled way of behavior so that you can move forward?
Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. – Albert Einstein
How often do you find yourself “mending fences”? Are you learning from your failures so you can move forward? Please share your thoughts <here>, and please share this blog post with a friend.