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Second-guessing myself after a difficult decision

Dec. 7, 2017 | by Tom Harper

Have you ever been reluctant to make an important decision?


Recently I was faced with a personnel situation. It required a hard choice, with so many variables at play that I didn't see a way to keep everyone happy. There were several downsides to what I knew was the right move.


It was obvious the business needed the decision to go one way, but my heart hurt for the people involved. I received warnings of the consequences of making this move.


But I had to make it.


The fallout was instantaneous. Negative reactions swirled. I immediately second-guessed and questioned myself.


But then I reminded myself of the benefits – of the fact that time would heal the wounds I had opened; and that a year from now we would likely be much better off.


Leading as a people-pleaser


I hate hard decisions. If things would just happen the right way on their own, or if someone else would make the call, I’d be much more comfortable in my leadership.


I'm a people-pleaser. When I displease people, I stress. I feel like a weak leader.


I'm often surprised at people's negative reactions after decisions like this. But I have to put myself in their shoes. I’d react the same way.


No wonder they say leadership is lonely.


Pleasing everyone is not my job; bearing up under hard decisions is.


If you falter in times of trouble, how small is your strength! – Proverbs 24:10


Tom Harper

Tom Harper is publisher of and CEO of Networld Media Group, the site's parent company. He has written Leading from the Lions’ Den: Leadership Principles from Every Book of the Bible and Career Crossover: Leaving the Marketplace for Ministry (both with B&H). Tom serves as a lay leader at Southeast Christian Church in Louisville, Ky., where he attends with his wife and three children.

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