Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Good decision for the wrong reasons vs. bad decisions for the right reaons

The boys like to play a game they call "Would you rather". They give you two choices (usually each choice includes something good and something bad) and you have to choose one. I gave them such a choice today: would they rather getting a good outcome for the wrong reasons or getting a bad outcome for the right reasons. Before responding they asked for an example. I gave them one from my work: I sometimes get involved with companies that turn out to be very successful, but I do it for the wrong reasons. Other times I get involved with a company for all the right reasons, but it fails.

Alejandro's first reaction was that what matters are the reasons, since we can't predict the future. All we can do is to make decisions based on our best judgement at the time. I agreed with his sentiment, but clarified that I wasn't asking him how to go about making decisions. I was asking, if they could wave a magic wand and get outcome A or outcome B, which one they would prefer. We agreed that the good outcome is preferable, even if we got it for the wrong reasons.

My point with this exercise was to emphasize that, at the end of the day, it is the outcome that matters the most, regardless of whether we got it by good luck or brilliance. Or, in the case of a negative outcome, by bad luck or stupidity.

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