Category Archives: Making better decisions

What is your legacy?

We spent a lovely sunset cruising the Newport Harbor celebrating the 80th birthday of our dear friend and fellow Vistage Chair – Rick Leckey. I was shocked to learn that Rick was 80 and when he joked he was really turning 60, I had to agree he looked that youthful. Going strong with no plans to retire. Vistage Chairs are like that. Purpose shines an internal light and keeps the outer shell (the body) a little healthier.

Many guests spoke with thanks about who Rick is as a friend, a mentor and a wise Chair. Several thanked him for guiding them along a wiser path than they were choosing for themselves.It was lovely.

On the drive home, a familiar song came on from The Temptations. Perhaps you recognize the lyrics

Papa was a rolling stoneWherever he laid his hat was his homeAnd when he died, all he left us was alone

Which legacy would you choose? If you don’t think you can change your legacy from today forward, permit me to share what my brother Joe said at our mother, Marilyn Paller’s, funeral. As background, Mom died at 87 after many years of struggling with diabetes and then kidney failure. My brother had a strained relationship with her for most of his life and I was surprised to hear him say how much he admired Mom in his eulogy. He said that most people get meaner as they age when struggling with health issues, limitations and the end of life. Marilyn became a nicer person, less judgmental, who did not complain about her life. Instead she made you welcome and wanted to hear about your life. He hoped to be more like that as he continued to age.

Who do you want to leave with good memories? What is one thing you could do this week to make your legacy an even better one?

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Photo of Rick Leckey and Beth Adkisson, Newport Beach, CA.

Fear of being seen

From the time we are born, we are instructed in who we should be to be accepted. We learn not to cry for no reason, how to walk, where and when to eat and pee. Once we learn to talk, we are told when we can talk, when not to talk. As grown ups, we show the world that part of ourselves that is acceptable per our training. All of this leads into a fear of being seen for who we truly are. >

Managing your speed

Skiing down a wide intermediate run at June Mountain. our friend Denis was topping 46 mph on a beautiful bluebird day. I didn’t try to keep up but was not far behind. Non-skiers would ask if that was safe, and if we were wearing helmets. Yes and yes. It is all about managing your speed. >

Be-Do-Have strategy

In Vistage we have an exercise called be-do-have where in a particular situation you evaluate

  • who are you being?
  • what are you doing? and
  • what do you have to get to a result?

In relation to your goals for 2023, what is your be-do-have strategy? >

Managing amidst the uncertainty…

What an interesting week! Twitter falling apart, tech companies laying off, inflation stabilizing but high, stock market going up, mid-term elections going calmly – so much happening. Add to that the continuing Russian defeats, meeting of global leaders over climate change and Xi and Biden about to meet in Indonesia, Hard to know the best way of managing amidst the uncertainty. >

Focus on fundamentals

Fall is a time of transition. Daytime gets shorter, temperatures drop. This year seems more transitional with inflation, midterm elections, the war in Ukraine. SO much going on outside that we cannot control. It seems like a good time to focus on what we can control – focus on the fundamentals. >

Take too long?

Is this you?

  • You take too long to make a decision.
  • You get anxious that you don’t have all the necessary data.
  • You feel great pressure to make the perfect choice.
  • You enjoy researching the options more than actually choosing which one to go with?
  • You agonize about the consequence of a bad choice.
If this resembles you,  taking your time and doing deep analysis makes you the go to person for your friends and colleagues.  You can be counted on to have all the research and analysis completed. They take your recommendations with the respect and appreciation you rightly have earned.
The downside is that power abhors a vacuum. So, if you don’t make a decision your whole team slows down waiting. And, while they wait, they get bored and distracted or make the decision themselves. Their outcome is most likely not as good as the outcome you would choose.
So, what to do?
First, assess the importance of the decision and the consequence of getting it wrong. Small consequence? Just pick one of the two best options. It should be a pretty good result.
Set a self imposed deadline for deciding. If you still don’t know, pick someone to review what you know, and talk it through with them until you choose. Or take it to your team for input and drive to a result before you leave the meeting.
Afterwards, assess the quality of the result. You may find, that you make 97% as good a decision with 10% less data. That is a good indicator to go with your gut more often and move your team faster towards your goals.


If you want to move more quickly as a team, one option is to set earlier deadlines. Or use the agile method that tech companies do. The whole team works together on one project until it is complete, then starts the next one. They iterate fast.


Many, many times a 90% solution is enough. Shoot, that was an A in high school. Why are you beating yourself up to get 100% on everything?

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Slow down v. work differently

Do you regularly get the advice to slow down? I think I’ve been told that my whole life.  Especially by my Mother. There was a regular argument about how many activities I would jump into. She would tell me that I was going to get run down and catch “mono”. If you are snickering with me, you are of a certain age. I still get told to slow down even though I think I now take a lot more time for myself. It occurs to me the issue is not to slow down: it is “slow down v. work differently”. >

Mulally is Magic

Friday, Vistage launched a one hour interview by Sam Reese, Vistage’s CEO, with Alan Mulally who led Boeing for many profitable years and then turned around Ford Motor Company. Watch it today if you are in the Vistage community. Mulally is Magic. >

Most/least likely

Whatever scenario you predicted was most likely or at least probable 6 months ago is probably not worth the paper it was written on. But then again, who uses paper these days?