Learn, Share, Grow - Making Critical Choices

December 4, 2023

Below is a lesson from Admired Leadership on asking critical questions to make critical decisions, as well as our key learnings.

The Blue Courage team is dedicated to continual learning and growth.  We have adopted a concept from Simon Sinek’s Start With Why team called “Learn, Share, Grow”.  We are constantly finding great articles, videos, and readings that have so much learning.  As we learn new and great things, this new knowledge should be shared for everyone to then grow from.

When It Comes to a Critical Choice, Ask an Equally Critical Question

by Admired Leadership

Here’s an all-too-common episode that unfortunately plays out every day somewhere. A patient suspecting a heart attack is rushed to a hospital for emergency care. The attending physician must quickly decide whether the sufferer should be treated as a high-risk or low-risk patient. 

This critical decision influences treatment and has a profound impact on whether a patient survives or not. Yet, there are so many factors to consider, many of which have to do with a patient’s history. Too often, the patient is either inaccurate about these factors or is not able to communicate clearly. 

So, what does the physician do to make a great call? 

Thanks to a team of statisticians at the University of California, the attending doctor needs only ask three questions to classify the risk: 

  • Is the systolic blood pressure less than 91? 

  • Is the patient over 62 years of age? 

  • Is there presence of a rapid heartbeat? 

By answering any of these three critical questions in the affirmative, any doctor can reach a quality decision regarding immediate and high risk. By crunching the data, statisticians were able to simplify a previously complex assessment into a straightforward question set. 

Continue reading here.

Key Learnings:

  • With enough data or experience, leaders can learn what questions matter most in assessing their critical decisions.
  • Consequential choice decisions that are repetitive in nature can normally be boiled down into one or more critical questions that streamline the decision.
  • It is the goal of any leader to use their experience and wisdom, matched with data, to determine what those questions are. 
  • The best leaders ask a critical question or two to guide them toward the right choice. 
  • Example: Warren Buffet uses three critical questions to evaluate whether to purchase or invest in a business: Can I understand it? Does it have sustainable advantage over competitors? Is the management team composed of skillful and honest people?  

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