Thinking beyond 1st order consequences
The key to reaching your full potential and outperforming others
Which choice do you most commonly select?
Like most of us you probably land on choice A, because we rule out choice B out as an option as soon as we see the negative 1st order consequence.
However, it seems our greatest accomplishments and decisions often begin with a first-order negative consequence decision (Choice B not Choice A).
In our personal life:
Choosing disciplined work over the immediate satisfaction of engaging in a leisure/pleasure activity.
Delaying gratification of spending to save for a larger investment
Serving others without any expectation of return
As a leader:
Having the difficult feedback conversation with a team member now rather than postponing.
Committing to a strategy that requires moving away from what is working today to be prepared for tomorrow.
Investing in the growth of others without needing anything in return
I challenge us all to move beyond 1st order consequence thinking. While it is true that is where most people live in their decision making, it is not where greatness and exceptional performance is found. We elevate our performance when we are deliberate in thinking beyond 1st order consequences by challenging ourselves to think about the 2nd and 3rd order consequences of the decision we are making.
Our life, our careers, our relationships reach their potential when we make decisions by looking beyond the 1st order consequences. We elevate the quality of our outcomes by being intentional to evaluating 2nd and 3rd order consequences by constantly asking yourself ‘and then what happens’ when making decisions.