Posts Tagged ‘boss’

Sometimes Doing Nothing Is the Best Action

Tuesday, December 16th, 2014

I recently read about research that was done studying soccer goalkeepers and how they deal with the tough high stakes decision of how to act to stop a penalty kick at the goal.

Researchers found by analyzing data on more than 300 kicks, that the most likely action to prevent a goal from being scored is to stand in the middle of the goal and do nothing until the trajectory of the ball can be seen.

That means the the goalkeeper faced with a player sending a ball at them coming 80 miles per hour would have the highest success rate, 1 in 3, if they did nothing until they see which direction the ball is coming from.

Yet goalkeepers hardly ever do this.

They usually try to guess the ball’s direction before the player has even put his foot on the ball to kick it by diving left or right and neither is a good option. Diving left resulted in a 14% success rate. Diving right 12.6%.

Researchers imply that goalkeepers’ let their emotions get in the way.

They think that if they take an action by either going left or right they will be seen as having done something.

Goalkeepers fear that if they stand and wait until they know the direction the ball is coming others will criticize their inaction.

Doing something is better than doing nothing?

In the business world action is preferred and often forgiven more than inaction.

New managers step into their new jobs ready to change the face of the company sometimes making sweeping changes before the ink is dry on their new contract.

They’ve got to show whose boss and if heads roll so be it–sacrifice is for the betterment of mankind and for progress.


Not so much…

Warren Buffett, probably the world’s most famous and successful investor is famous for his inaction. He has been known to apologize to company shareholders that profits would have been higher if he’d have done nothing rather than invest their money. He often opts to look at the long term and ignore the short term ups and downs.

The same can be said for other life decisions. There are times when doing nothing is just the best thing to do.

The house is on fire–you get out.

A two year old runs in the street–you get him.

A bicycle, motorcycle,car, or speeding bullet train comes at you–you high tail it out of there.

Other times and the trick is to know when those other times are…

You might want to sit on the decision for awhile.

Is there a chance that jumping too soon may mean trouble down the road?

Is expediency absolutely critical?

Only you know the stakes.

Only you know if it feels better in your gut to wait.


Nothing may just be your best action.

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Helping Our Children Become Better People

Sunday, May 20th, 2012

I should have known better.

A year and a half ago I knew that my19 year old son’s new work schedule wasn’t working for me.

I was losing sleep because of it.

But it wasn’t until last week that the reality of my decision not to stand firm a year and a half ago finally sunk in.

At 2:30am one mid week morning I woke to the sounds of a motorcycle revving up, the garage door opening and closing, and then a short while later activity in the kitchen. Was it really 2:30am? With all the commotion I would have sworn it was mid-afternoon.

My son works an evening shift–3:30pm to 12am. He has developed a normal routine of bedtime no sooner than 4am and although he typically gives an effort to being quiet mid-last week his effort was sorely lacking.

My words were not firm a year and a half ago. I told him to stop working evening shifts or move but I didn’t follow through.

So yesterday I told my son he would need to work a day shift or move out. There were no if’s, ands, or buts.

He turned in his letter of request for shift change. His evening shift  officially ended four days later.

I wish I would have stood firm sooner but I wasn’t ready.

I waited longer than I should have but when it mattered I did what I needed to do.

It doesn’t work to protect our kids in spite of us.

Life is short. Our kids need to know that they have rights but that they also have responsibilities.

They won’t always get what they want. We can’t always give them what they want–that’s not our job.

Our job is to give them what they need to become better people.

We may get a dirty look, a sigh, the cold shoulder, pouts, etc but at the end of the day we can feel we did our best to form this beautiful young person into a solid individual who is better off because we weren’t afraid to stand firm.