Credit: Jen DiCesare

Make good Choices
December 22, 2020

My children had a middle school principal that closed every meeting with the directive to “make good choices.” While a straightforward charge, I have found that most things from middle school tend to morph, over time, into reflections on torment, disequillibration and trial by fire. How any of them could have complied is a mystery. Now that they are grown, that call to good choices is a tongue-in-cheek warning my family uses when we are sure some bad choices are about to be made!

So, why are good choices or decisions so difficult? I don’t believe they are. What is difficult is to ensure successful outcomes. The fact that we attribute all the good things that happen to us to “good decisions” is the error. Even the best, most well-considered decisions can have disastrous outcomes and likewise, some bad decisions can turn our pretty well for us. The difficult thing is to bring the good decision and the best outcome together, and to do it frequently. The even more difficult thing is to set upon the good decision and follow it with conviction—no matter the outcome.

This ability to distill the facts, the feelings, and the frenzy into the singularity of a good decision is a skill few have. When you find someone who wields this power, or at least when I find someone with it, we are in awe. You want to be around these people. You learn by sheer proximity.

I have been practicing law for a while and I have clocked my 10,000 hours several times over. In my career, I have watched all sorts of leaders in the life sciences struggle with making good decisions. What I have learned is that there are patterns to the way decisions are made. And the outcomes with the highest predictability are those that trend, unfortunately, in favor of spotting the decision that results in the train wreck. In every instance, however, there is a point or crossroad where the best decision comes down to only two choices. When you get to two choices you are where you need to be to make the decision. Good or Bad will be the label applied to the outcome with no understanding of, or even regard for, the primary fact pattern.

Inspired by all the decision makers around me, and on the 10th anniversary of the firm, I am launching this portal as part of our new website. Here, I (along with my colleagues at the firm), will share what we have learned, and what still confounds us about life and the life sciences.

In the words of my brother, the most direct and unapologetic communicator I know, I invite you to check in from time to time: “The way I see it, You got TWO OPTIONS.”

Photo Credit: Jen DiCesare