Thursday, May 19, 2022

57. The Gentle - Decisive Decision Making

The Lines

Bottom. [6] To be influential, a man must remain steady and directed towards a clearly defined goal. Indecision defeats his purpose, confuses those he would influence, and wastes his resources. Gentleness, which is proper, refers to the manner of one's conduct, not to things like determination and goal orientation. If a leader is doubtful about the direction in which he wants to move, how can he expect his followers to move ahead with confidence? If he doesn't want to step aside and let someone of a more resolute character take the lead, then he must deliberately choose a carefully thought-through coarse and proceed slowly but orderly.

2. [9] It often happens that people fall under the influence of mythical ideas of doubtful origin. Often, no one knows exactly where such ideas came from, and are unable to find any rational reason for clinging to them. They are rumors or traditions or delusions or prejudices or old-wives tales that have been passed around by word of mouth, but which many people cling to and allow to influence their actions. When such ideas stand in the way of progress, it is necessary to examine them closely and take a completely rational, scientific approach to them. Where did these ideas come from? How did they get started? Is there any basis for them in reality? Are they based mainly on irrational fears? Most often, these ideas are fictions implanted in the minds of gullible believers by priests and charlatans who have something to gain by spreading such falsehoods. By discussing the subject openly, clearly identifying these deceptions, revealing the lack of an intelligent basis, and exposing the real reasons why they have been passed along, these false ideas are brought out into the light of day and deprived of their power over people.

3. [9] There is a point beyond which careful consideration and reflection becomes dalliance and procrastination. Unending questions about which path to take turns into a hindrance to progress and an excuse for doing nothing. After all the important facets have been identified and taken into account, a decision should be made, and it becomes time to move on. By going back over a decision and endlessly reconsidering and re-evaluating the basis for the decision, the energy needed to move ahead is dissipated, a person loses his initiative, and he sinks into a sea of self-doubt. New facts always require that a decision be reconsidered; but rehashing old facts and past decisions is a waste of time and effort.

4. [6] A superior man possessing long and valuable experience occupies a highly responsible position. He is a man of modest character, but he has great enthusiasm and determination. He is a good organizer and a careful planner, and he is unafraid to face difficulties and take the needed action. He performs his tasks with a high sense of rectitude, his work is a great service to mankind, and his beneficial influence encourages all who associate with him. Such a man possesses all the keys to success.

5. [9] The man enters upon work that has had a mediocre beginning. Great changes are needed if the goals of the enterprise are to be successfully met. His entrance upon the scene provides the opportunity to make the vast changes that are needed. If carefully planned and well-executed, all can be accomplished successfully. But there are very many changes that need to be made, and many of them are quite complicated. The need for change is obvious, but exactly what those changes should be is what is difficult and what has prevented their being implemented already. The man, therefore, does not rush into the many changes, since that might produce confusion and failure. He plans each change precisely and takes whatever time might be necessary so that he is sure everything will be done right and will correct the problem. Then after the change is effected, the man does not then move on to something else. Not at all. He carefully reviews the changes and assures himself that they have been carried out as intended and have indeed solved the problem. He is also careful to see to it that workers do not slip back into old habits and revert to the old ways of doing things. This kind of checking can only be done over a considerable period of time. If he makes these kinds of careful plans and then carefully reviews the changes that were made, he can feel confident that his work will be successful.

Top. [9] The man sees clearly the misconceptions and delusions he is up against, but he lacks the power and influence to overcome them. These ideas are strongly held, and he is unable to convince people to abandon them. If he tries to attack these ideas, he will convince no one, and turn everyone against him. Unfortunately, there is nothing he can do about this. He must accept the situation and learn to live with it.


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