A lot of decisions get made on deployment. Career directions are decided, career directions are changed, critical family decisions are made, and when and whom to marry. Deployments leave a great deal of time to think, decide, and make critical life choices. The critical point is not to rush a decision or a change when you return from a deployment.
When you return from your next deployment, wait 30 days and follow these five steps to help make sure that your decision will be a success.
Decision Success Factor #1 - What Decision Will I Make? The first step to making a decision is to fully define the decision. Use the components of a military mission statement to help you do this. A military mission statement is used to direct units toward successful mission accomplishment by identifying five (5) key understandings to complete the mission. The five components of a mission statement are: (1) Who, (2) What, (3) When, (4) Where, and (5) Why.
WHO: My family and myself.
WHAT: Leave active duty and start full time college in Fall of 2016 to study Business.
WHEN: Begin transition leave on Aug 15, 2016.
WHERE: Move from Fort Benning, GA to Austin, TX.
WHY: Continue my interest in Business and translate into a post-military career.
Decision Success Factor #2 - Who Will Be Impacted By My Decisions. A decision very rarely affects one person. For example, if I am single, does that decision just affect me? Or, using a broader perspective, you would remember that your mother was a career Navy officer and would she be upset if you left? As an exercise, draw yourself in the center of a piece of paper. Next, start making rings of those most important to you in the closest circle next to you. Finally, work outwards to include distant friends. Once this is complete, go step by step and ask how these people would feel about your decision. This is a great way to determine the full impact of a change. Those people closest to you in the rings on the paper are great choices to discuss your anticipated decision.
Decision Success Factor #3 - What Happens If I Do Not Make The Decision? A great way to see the impact of a decision is to ask what will happen if I DO NOT make the decision? For example, if I decide NOT to buy a new car, then I still have my old car. I still have transportation, maybe not as good looking, but still transportation. We often anticipate what life will be like after we make a decision, but looking at how life will be if we do not make a decision is equally beneficial.
Decision Success Factor #4 - What Happens In the First 30, 60, and 90 Days If I Make A Decision? The 30, 60, and 90 day impact of a decision is a good way to help see immediate and short term impact. For example, if I decide to leave the military and have 60 days leave saved up, then the first 30 days are a great vacation, because I have time and money. However, at day 91, then the reality sinks in and sinks in fast. Anticipating and then robustly planning what happens in the first 30, 60, and 90 days of a decision will help you immensely for decisions large and small. For example, if you are transitioning, you may try and accomplish as much as you can in your transition, while on active duty and then use the first 30 days to get all transition activities complete. This then allows you a 60 day buffer to help find a new career.
Decision Success Factor #5 - How Can I Effectively Implement This Decision for Success? Not all decisions are automatically successful after a decision. For example, if I decide to invest in the stock market, then I have to be able to maintain my investments and financial discipline when the market goes up and down. When the market changes, it is all too easy to cash out money when the investment has a high value and all too easy to withdraw money when the market is low. For the decision of investment, discipline over the long term is essential. Pursuing a degree or a graduate degree is another good example. I have to commit to late nights, early mornings, and no free time other than coursework to make this payoff by graduating. Again, in education, as with investments, discipline, a schedule, and hard work every step of the way make decisions pay off.
Deployments are hard and we all make major decisions while on deployment. Follow these five decision factors to help you in your decision making process.
The Five Decision Success Factors Following Deployment:
1. Decision Success Factor #1 - What Decision Will I Make?
2. Decision Success Factor #2 - Who Will Be Impacted By My Decisions?
3. Decision Success Factor #3 - What Happens If I Do Not Make The Decision?
4. Decision Success Factor #4 - What Happens In the First 30, 60, and 90 Days If I Make A Decision?
5. Decision Success Factor #5 – How Can I Effectively Implement This Decision for Success?
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About the blogger:
Chad Storlie is the author of two books: Combat Leader to Corporate Leader and Battlefield to Business Success. Both books teach how to translate and apply military skills to business. An adjunct Lecturer of Marketing at Creighton University and Bellevue University in Omaha, NE. Chad is a retired US Army Special Forces officer with 20+ years of Active and Reserve service in infantry, Special Forces, and joint headquarters units. He served in Iraq, Bosnia, Korea, and throughout the United States. He was awarded the Bronze Star, the Combat Infantryman’s Badge, the Meritorious Service Medal, the Special Forces Tab, and the Ranger Tab. In addition to teaching, he is a mid-level marketing executive and has worked in marketing and sales roles for various companies, including General Electric, Comcast, and Manugistics. He has been published in The Harvard Business Review blog, Business Week Online, Forbes, Christian Science Monitor, USA Today, and over 40 other publications. He has a BA from Northwestern University and an MBA from Georgetown University.
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