Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Less shooting, more thinking

My good friend (a co-worker) and I came up with this theory a few weeks ago. In general, the world needs less shooting and more thinking. I don't remember the exact situation that first prompted us to pronounce this philosophy, but it obviously involved a senseless shooting, and probably one that might have been avoided had the shooter done a little thinking. Well, most shootings might well be avoided with a little more thinking, but I recall this scenario being a particularly unnecessary shooting that even a little thought would have prevented. We've all had those moments where we read through a case and shake our heads at something it appears our client did. "Why?!?" we want to ask. "Just use your head!" Of course, they never did use their heads or they wouldn't be our clients.

Over the past few weeks, we've been seeing how many situations our little rule applies to. We've been finding ourselves repeating our new mantra time and time again. When in doubt, people need to think before they react.

So when I heard Sarah Palin say she didn't even blink before saying yes to John McCain's offer to be his running mate, this is what popped into my head. "Less acting, more thinking!" (Maybe for her, I should amend it to "Less shooting off your mouth, more blinking") She claims you need to be in the mindset where you don't blink because you have to stay focused on the mission. (Side note, what mission? I'm afraid...)

Making a decision without thinking it through is not a sign of strength. It's stupid. It's reckless. It's how many of my clients wound up where they are now. There's a big difference between acting quickly and acting rashly. Certainly, some situations require quick action, but in the vast majority of situations, there is some time for reflection before acting. A deep breath. At least a few blinks.

What's so wrong with taking a few seconds to think before answering a question? Or in taking an hour or two before deciding whether to take a major job offer? When did thinking things through become a bad thing? Being "decisive" doesn't do you any good if the decisions you make are terrible. Surely we've all learned this through the last 8 years. We all know our current president is very decisive. I think we all would have been better-served by a president who spent a little more time thinking through things, without a pre-determined agenda, before acting.

1 comment:

Mark said...

Very very well said.

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