Making Decisions in The Grey Area

Murder is wrong. Feeding the starving people of an impoverished nation is right. Spanking your child is much less a black and white issue.

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Children need appropriate discipline. But, is a spanking the right discipline for the child? Different children respond in very different ways to spanking. Some hardly notice a spanking. Whereas a spanking might bring another child's world to an end.

The job as parents is to make decision in the gray area. To decide based on the child if spanking is the right discipline.

Likewise, every leader, team, and organization has to make decisions in the gray area. Whether on which vendor to use or what policies to set in place. The ability of a person to make decisions in the gray areas relates to a their ability to lead. When the smallest of decisions paralyze a worker, their ability to work stops.

A leader can weigh the pros, cons, to make a decision with widespread impact. The leader makes those decisions with confidence when it is time.

How do you handle situations when they are in the gray area? How do you assess the right decision? What size of decisions paralyze you? Who helps you make decisions in the gray areas?

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Micro Regression

‘Micro-mobility’ is a newer concept or term I have become aware of. It is all about the last few miles of the journey in an urban environment.

Under the current precedent, you might live in Los Angeles and head to work. You walk to the nearest bus stop, take the bus to the bus stop nearest to your work, then you would walk to work from there.

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Riding the bus can only go so fast. But walking to and from the bus is not a fixed time cost. You can now rent an electric scooter, ride it from your home, and drop it off at the bus stop. Then again after you get off the bus, you can rent another electric scooter and ride it to work. You would then drop it at work and now you’ve reduced your walk time by a significant amount.

Then again, you might be a bit more like me and you live in a small enough town and your commute by car. I drive less than two miles to get from home to work. I could replace my whole commute could by an electric scooter.

The scooter looks like one of those scooters that were popular when I was a kid, a razor scooter. The bicycle option is completely a regression. When I was a kid, I had no other means of transportation into my twenties. According to people studying the wear and tear on cars. According to people looking for more effective modes of transportation. Scooters and bicycles are far and away the best choice when it comes to finishing our commutes.

It may feel like a regression, but it is more effective for a commuter to use shared modes of commuting. In this scenario, regressing is more of a return to the right tool for the job and less of a regression of maturity. The biggest thing holding someone back from using one of our old tools would be pride or familiarity.

The best reason to use one of our old tools is taking part in progress and efficiency of life. (And the electric scooters are a lot of fun!)

What holds you back from trying new things? How do you react when someone is trying to get you to try something you feel like you have grown beyond? How do you continue to grow, even when you need to reuse an old idea? How are you optimizing and making the mundane parts of your life more effective to accomplish your goals?

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Reading Is Fun & Mental

I have much to learn in life. Even more so, there is more to learn in life than I could ever learn. I enjoy learning. I do have a maximum learning capacity at any one given period. However, I enjoy filling my learning cap and I enjoy learning even when I do not need to. I have noticed a trend in my life where people consider some learning to be more significant than others. Specifically, reading seems to be the highest form of learning. 

When you ask someone what they are reading, you are almost asking them what they are learning. I have been asked on many occasions, “What are you reading?” Most often, I have very little I am actively reading. Generally, I am in the middle of a book at all times but not very far into it or very interested in finishing it. I usually try to be learning something. However, reading does not do it for me. I am seeing a trend though, reading is portrayed as the, ‘learners method.’ You cannot be learning if you are not reading. For me, I think this discounts the essence of learning. Learning is what we do when we bring in new information. 

Learning is what we do when we absorb something we have never thought of or experienced. 

Learning is an essential part of life.

For me, I always want to be learning; but, in testing, experience, and with the advice of wise teachers and leaders in my life. Reading is quite possibly the most awful way I can learn. 

I am slow. 

I have have a low absorption rate. 

I do not do the best job of converting abstract concepts I read about concrete ideas I can implement.

How do I succeed in a world where who considers reading to be the most affluent way of learning?

How do you learn? What do you think of someone who is not currently reading something for learning?

Learning,

–JT