Making Risky Decisions and Managing Expectations

“Failure is really only failure if you don’t learn from it.”

– Jason Baxter


If somebody starts to get more and more confident in what they do every day, and they’ve made more and more decisions, it feeds on itself, and it just snowballs and snowballs. We have great examples in the company, whether it’s Shana or other people, that have taken on responsibilities that they knew nothing about before they came to this company and now make decisions every day that they just couldn’t have made two years ago. It always boils back to us. Are we putting them in a position where they can make decisions and have the risk of failure so that they can learn and then be willing to make the decision again? If that cycle happens enough, they will get better at making decisions. It’s inevitable.

Failure is really only failure if you don’t learn from it. You just have to put things in perspective. Managing your expectations is critical. If you are somebody that you’re doing something that you don’t have a ton of experience in or it might be your first time, if your expectations are, “I’m going to give it my best. Very good chance I don’t do this perfectly, but as soon as I figure out what I did wrong, I’m going to learn from it”, and something ends up going wrong a little bit, well that was your expectation. It doesn’t get you down. But if your expectation is always, “I have to be 100% right about everything that I’m going to do”, then if you don’t get it right, your expectations won’t be met, and you won’t be in a good position. It will put more people in the stance of, “I just will do nothing.”

This has just always been my nature. I’d rather make 100 decisions a day knowing that 95 of them will probably be right, five of them will be flat out wrong, but I made 95 good ones. Hopefully at that point, how bad are the five that you got wrong?