The Unexpected Outcomes of Expediency
What are the unexpected outcomes of expediency? Do you often feel forced into decisions that are convenient but yield no results or even negative results? The nature of your position as the leader is often the head decision-maker. As we discussed in previous blog posts this can be done with an effective and participative approach. However, we can also allow the desire to yield or achieve more to force us to make the convenient decision without a filter. We all need a filter that helps us bring our choices into alignment with our principles and values.
Psalm 1:1-6 beautifully illustrates the fruit of a person who follows God submitting their decisions to the wisdom of the Lord versus those who do not.
“Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers. The wicked are not so, but are like chaff that the wind drives away. Therefore, the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous; …”
Have you ever made a bad decision? I sure have, and I’ve thought quite a bit about what went wrong. At first, it wasn’t obvious, but I discovered a common problem in many of our bad decisions.
When it comes to bad decisions, I can think of a “doozy.” In 1988, the Governor of Texas asked me to run for the Texas State Senate, although I was not active in politics.
During the campaign, I made an expedient decision. I had good intentions but was motivated by fear of the possibility of losing the election.
I made a quick decision “on the spot” to allow some people to send out a mail piece on my behalf. They even paid for all the associated expenses! In my haste, I failed to:
- Run the idea by my campaign committee. (My thinking was that I was the candidate, and I should be making decisions.)
- Approve the mail piece with my name all over it before it was mailed (or at least let my campaign committee approve it.)
- Approve the mailing list that the people were going to use.
After the piece was already mailed, I learned:
- The people used a mail piece we would not have approved.
- They got over-zealous and expanded the mailing list to include potential voters who did not want to receive the mail piece.
Well, even though this bad decision did not cost me the election, I spent a lot of time “mending fences.”
What are Expedient Behaviors?
Expedient behaviors are those which can be done quickly and easily, and which apparently will fulfill a person’s immediate self-interests. Done without consideration of what is just, fair, or right for the long term.
If we want to reduce expedient behavior, the first step is to learn how to identify its tell-tale signs.
Every person can identify expedient behavior by recognizing the following characteristics and consequences.
The following are characteristics of expediency:
- Quick and Easy
- Short-Term Pleasure
- Short-Term Gain
- Immediate Gratification
Please keep in mind, expedient behavior is rooted in fear. Fear that you are going to lose something you don’t want to lose. Or fear that you are going to experience something you don’t want to experience.
For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control (2 Timothy 1:7 ESV).
ConsequencesWhen expedient behavior becomes a habit, your life and business suffer unhealthy consequences. Click To Tweet
The following are examples of the impact and consequences of expediency:
Principle vs. Expediency
When these unhealthy consequences occur, do you “blow them off” with excuses by blaming someone else or something else? Or, do you learn from them and change to a principled way of behavior so that you can move forward?Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. – Albert Einstein Click To Tweet
Let’s make principled decisions and not continue doing the same thing repeatedly expecting different results! Expediency does not lead to growth.
Pause and Reflect: Outcomes of Expediency
- How often do you find yourself “mending fences”?
- Are you learning from your failures so you can move forward?
Related, Articles, Videos, and Podcast Episodes
- Motivation Survey Results Revealed
- The Driving Force of Motivation
- Build Your Team Through Trust
- Sustainable Service and Stewardship with John Pellowe
- Making Disciples Through Christian Education with Jason Rachels
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