Chapter Ten: Deciding 16 October
“Make up your mind,”
“Render a decision…”
|Decisions Are Always Made: By You; By Someone Else; By Circumstance|
It was a big yard and I was a little kid. Going up to my neighbor I had asked her for the job of cutting her overgrowing grass. She looked relieved. She asked if I could rake it too.
“Yes!” I said. I was going to make some money.
“How much?” she asked.
I told her to pay me whatever she thought the job was worth. I couldn’t quite figure out what it was worth and I was not brave enough to quote a price. The lawn took hours to cut.
“I’m finished,” I said.
“How much?” she asked, again.
I still couldn’t decide. But she knew I had worked for hours struggling with mower and rake and bagging. “Whatever you think…”
She gave me one dollar. It wouldn’t even pay for the fuel: gas and soft-drinks. I looked at the single dollar and she looked at me…
Management is defined by making decisions. Deciding to ‘plan’ on what is to be done; who does what in ‘organizing’; ‘leading’ the work; and finally measuring the performance against the plan in the ‘control’ component. Staff should make recommendations but the boss decides. If boss doesn’t decide and doesn’t control events then the decision and events could be controlled by others.
David George is a former Air Force pilot and Senior Adult Pastor in a Baptist Church. (Retired military personnel always make good Pastors.) He writes,
The story is told of former President Ronald Reagan who once had an aunt who took him to a cobbler for a pair of new shoes. The cobbler asked young Reagan, “Do you want square toes or round toes?”
Unable to decide, Reagan didn’t answer, so the cobbler gave him a few days. Several days later the cobbler saw Reagan on the street and asked him again what kind of toes he wanted on his shoes.
Reagan still couldn’t decide, so the shoemaker replied, “Well, come by in a couple of days. Your shoes will be ready.” When the future president did so, he found one square-toed and one round-toed shoe!
“This will teach you to never let people make decisions for you,” the cobbler said to his indecisive customer.
“I learned right then and there,” Reagan said later, “if you don’t make your own decisions, someone else will.” David George (2014-01-30). The Daily Thought Shaker (p. 30). WestBowPress. Kindle Edition.
Decisions have to be made and sometimes the customer can help. Especially if your customer is Jack Welch.
In 1969, Terry Holland was mowing several lawns on his street when he knocked on Jack Welch’s door, hoping to add another client to his list. At the tender age of 13, Terry was excited to get the job. But he didn’t expect what was coming.
A middle manager at the time, Jack Welch would later gain celebrity status as General Electric’s CEO for taking the organization from a market value of $14 billion to more than $410 billion.
Terry continues in a Forbes magazine interview,
…Jack asked me, ‘how much money do you want to mow my lawn?’ I told him, ‘I really don’t give a price, I let people pay me whatever they think is fair.’
So Jack started pointing around the neighborhood. He asked, ‘How much do you get for mowing that guy’s lawn?’ I told him three bucks. He pointed to another house. ‘How much do you get paid for his?’ ‘Three and a quarter.’
‘I’ll tell you what,’ Jack said, ‘I’ll give you four dollars to mow my lawn on one condition… I want my lawn to look better than any of theirs.’”
…My neighbor lady looked down on me with a kind smile. I was hurt. She said that my lawn work was certainly worth more than that one dollar. She said that next time I would need to decide what the job was worth and stand up and give the customer the price. She was giving me a life lesson with a value greater than any immediate cash I could have received. I took her advice.
I researched and came up with a competitive price for my services and gave this quote upfront before beginning the work.
A few weeks later I revisited the woman who taught me the lesson. I asked to cut her grass and quoted a price for the premium service.
It was double the going rate.
She paid with a smile.
“Make up your mind,” Moab says. “Render a decision…” Isaiah 16:3a