How to make decisions: fast, and 'roughly right'.

Here’s a quote for you from Rita Gunther McGrath:

“Fast and roughly right decision-making will replace deliberations that are precise but slow.”

As church leaders, I think we many times wait to make decisions.

I’ve seen pastors and boards take months to make a decision that I would have made in five minutes.

Or at least a week.


I don’t consider myself a rash kind of guy… but you can only collect information for a period of time.

Then it’s time to make the dang decision.

What more information do you need to make your decision?

Will you have any better information in six months to make a decision about starting that new service?

You know you want to make a change on your team, but you mill it over for weeks, months, a year and a half?


Because everybody wants to make the best decisions.

And we always feel that we’ll have better information soon that will help make that decision clear.

In reality, we know that most times that is just not true.

So… in matters (other than theology)… my approach would usually go along with what this quote is saying.  Go for fast and roughly right.

In almost every situation, you can change your decision if you find you’re wrong.  And people will forgive you.

What they won’t forgive is a leader that can’t make a decision to save his own life.

Don’t be that guy.




  • Jeff Ruble July 18, 2013 Reply

    I agree 100%. Its just like the Nike saying just do it. Stop beating a deaf horse. make a plan implement it and move on. Make. a command decision.

    • Todd Rhoades July 18, 2013 Reply

      Just for the record… I think you should leave the deaf horse alone.

  • Jeff Ruble July 18, 2013 Reply

    Sorry dead horse…

  • Jeff Ruble July 19, 2013 Reply

    We had farmer who had a deaf horse. he heard about this miracle pill to help the horse hear better. Turns out he ate more and farted louder.

  • stevedlongSteve Long July 20, 2013 Reply

    I wonder if ‘the decision’ “has become more important than the method that followers of Jesus use used to arrive at it. Does expedience trump the love learning experience of decision making and problem solving? Perhaps God wants us to learn to love patiently and to develop the gift of ‘bringing others along’ without being polarizing or dictatorial. Shared decision making shares all of the rewards of success as well as the collateral spiritual development of unity, community and love. Independent decision making separates one from the whole, has little spiritual value, puts blame for any failure on the one and teaches the other side to be critical. Unless implementation of a decision is a smashing, unqualified success it will be analysed and criticized. A good shepherd does not drive the sheep.

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