These may be bold statements:
Choices are your strategy.
Decisions are your tactics.
Another way to state it is:
“Choice is the context, and better decisions are made when made within your selected context.”
We may be confusing things.
We think we have too many choices.
- Which flavor of Cap’n Crunch to buy?
- Which Extra Value Meal to eat at McDonald’s?
- Which SUV to drive?
These are not choices. They are decisions.
The choices really are:
- Do I choose to live a healthy lifestyle?
- Do I choose to conserve our natural resources?
When a choice is made, the decisions become less expansive. Options are eliminated or cut away. Cap’n Crunch isn’t on our list. Kashi cereal may be instead. McDonald’s isn’t on our list. Subway may take its place. SUVs are not an option, but hybrids or clean diesels are.
Although these are consumer-based examples, they illustrate a point. Within a choice, our decisions begin to narrow. We become focused on making decisions within the context we choose.
In an earlier post comparing the differences between decisions and choices, the discovery became that choices involve a mindset while decisions involve a process.
The difference in the words may not matter as much. They could be switched. Mike Henry, Sr., Chief Instigator of Lead Change Group, pointed out that Liz Strauss took a different direction in a post entitled Decision or Choice: Is the Difference Stealing Your Focus and Your Time? She stated:
“A decision marks a direction. A choice marks an option until we return to choose again.”
The intent is similar. Maybe the wording differences are slight or don’t matter. What does matter, however, is:
- How do we choose to live? (Our purpose)
- How do we choose to lead? (Our leadership values)
- How do we choose to be a citizen? (Our community philosophy)
- How do we choose to be a spouse, parent, son, daughter…? (Our family approach)
Whatever our choices may be, we need to select them. It will enable our decisions to be made in line with our life, leadership, community, and family strategy.
- It is not about making 50 choices.
- It is about making 3 to 5 really good choices to set the direction of how we live and lead.
- While choices are a way to live and lead, decisions put the steps in place to live our choices fully.
Do you view choices as a strategy and decisions as tactics? If so, how would it change what you do and how you lead? If not, what is your viewpoint?
Please also join the conversation on Tuesday night on the #LeadFromWithin tweet chat. I am excited to join @LollyDaskal and her inspiring leadership community to exchange ideas on choices and decisions. This tweet chat session is entitled Lead by Choice. Please join us on June 26 at 8:00 pm Eastern Time!