If you’re looking for advice on making decisions in high-pressure situations, you can’t do much better than Mark Kelly. If it’s good enough for a Space Shuttle pilot, it should be good enough for us. Unsurprisingly, Kelly emphasizes the importance of gathering the best possible information. No matter how much talent you possess, how good your instincts are, nobody can make a great decision on bad information. Kelly is quick to admit you should never be ashamed of asking questions. Many leaders have seen their own downfalls because they were ill-informed.
While asking questions is an essential component of leadership, there’s still no need to discount your own experience. Those hard-won lessons are the information you trust the most, so use them as a foundation, then fill in the blanks with questions.
Mark Kelly’s advice can seem contradictory at times. The best leaders rely on their own experiences, but you also need to ask lots of questions. You need to gather lots of information before making a decision, but you still need to act swiftly. This is a perfect example of the ambiguity that accompanies countless professional situations. If problems were clear and easy to solve, then nobody would be paying you to solve them. Take Mark Kelly’s simple-yet-important advice and use it as guidance, but be sure to approach each dilemma in its own unique way.
Student. Adventurer. Perpetual Question Asker.