Friday, July 12, 2013

Guest Post: What To Do About Poor Decisions

What To Do About Poor Decisions
Colonel Donald J. Myers USMC (Ret)

Leaders are required to make countless decisions on a routine basis. When the leader is in a relatively minor leadership position, he can normally determine all of the appropriate facts and make the logical decision. As the leader moves up the ladder of authority, he must rely more and more on the input from key employees. Unfortunately there are some leaders who do not understand this or are unable to accept the fact that as they become more senior, they must delegate and develop subordinates. Those who do not understand this become micro managers and create other difficulties for the organization or become ineffective leaders and cause superb employees or troops to depart early.,

In the Marines, I  knew several individuals who were fantastic company grade officers, but were barely adequate as field grade officers. For those with no military background, a company grade officer is a captain and below  who leads platoons or companies while a field grade officer is a major, Lt colonel, or colonel who command a battalion or regiment. 

If a leader does not receive the proper input, then his decision can very well be the wrong one for that particular event. It could also be that the situation changed since the decision was made and because of that, now the decision is wrong. Effective leaders have no problem in making adjustments to bad decisions. Combat is the best example where decisions are adjusted or completely changed on a routine basis as the situation changes.

Insecure people go to great lengths in order create the impression that they are always correct. As a result, they will spend a fortune in money and good will rather than admit that a decision must be changed. More often than not the money and good will is not theirs but rather the organization's. It is because of that, these individuals continue to spend these assets with no responsibility or accountability.

Our forefathers understood this and as a result, they provided an avenue for our constitution to be changed. They also provided us with the Bill of Rights that was supposed to limit the power of our government and provide us with guaranteed protections for speech, the press, religion, and other aspects. They knew that humans were not saints and that government tended to be tyrannical if citizens were not observant and careful.

We have recently witnessed poor decisions concerning Benghazi, the Internal Revenue Service, the Justice Department, and congress. As of this point, there have been no consequences for those involved. That cannot be allowed to continue or else those types of decisions will continue and they probably will become even more critical. Unfortunately, our government is slow to act unless portions of the population become active and demand a response. It is up to us to let our elected officials know that we demand action. That is how these poor decisions will be corrected.

Donald J. Myers, a retired colonel in the U.S. Marine Corps, is a regular columnist for Hernando Today. He lives in Spring Hill and can be contacted at


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