The Phil Files

Musings & messages on everyday worship, Jesus, and the stuff of life.

Archive for the ‘Decision’ tag


with 4 comments

For those in colder climes than West Texas, you will find it humorous that the whole town of Abilene is basically shut down because of an ice storm. We very seldomly get snow here — oh sure, we get occasional dry or “dandruff” snow as Donna calls it, but big huge velvety moist snowflakes are a very very rare occurrence. In other words, we don’t get packed snow or soft snow or heavy snow, we just get a comprehensive coating of black ice.

Because the “precipitation” comes down wet and then freezes, it is bound to the asphalt and concrete and very hard to even chip away — we have a 1/4 inch ice skating rink all over town. Those who have made fun of folks who can’t drive in snow, invariably find themselves calling for a tow truck because they felt sure they could show these dumb Texans how to drive in winter weather. If you have a Zamboni, you are okay. If not, put on some soup, grab a book, and put another log on the fire and let the rhythm God sends your way with icy weather, bring you a gift of a restful day!

Of course our local news treats these events as if it were a cataclysmic storm, but the real entertainment and consternation comes from watching the school districts and 5 local universities try to decide what to do about closures. Our phone rang off the wall between 6:15-6:30 this morning as Donna heard from the school district that they would start late and then later, they would not start at all today — school was cancelled. For a more rural school district with kids scattered all over the area, this seemed prudent and obvious. Locals schools were cancelled, too.

Then the universities got into the mix. Several universities let their students know immediately. Others, like my daughter’s graduate school, waited till the last minute to announce. In fact, some had already left for school. Students were confused and the ding-ding of Megan’s text message inbox went off about a dozen times before she got the final message. Megan had warmed her car and we were just about to finish the ice scraping chores when that last text message came in.

This whole process reminded me once again of how important it is for leaders to …

  • be clear about our most important priorities (that mission/vision thing)
  • consider the immediate needs of our group (real needs vs. wants)
  • safeguard the welfare of our people (security and trust)
  • act clearly and decisively in a timely manner (timing & clarity)

The problems, of course, are in the conflicting concerns of each of these four values. But I will personally try to process decisions and manage change based on these values rather than bouncing around between my own hunches — which it sure seemed like was happening this morning with all the indecision on travel on our Abilene skating rink and the safety of the people involved. And I will look at the appropriateness of this kind of grid as I look at leadership in Scripture as I read through the Bible this year.


What about you? Do you think the grids appropriate? Do they fit? Are they real life? And do they weight decisions in one direction too much? Would you rename the grids for other areas?

I’m interested in your input and think the discussion could be helpful.

Written by phil

January 27th, 2009 at 10:11 am


Tagged with ,