Adonis Diaries

Archive for September 8th, 2020

Beyond Pros and Cons in decision making? I am curious to know what else we should expect

Decision-Making for Leaders: Beyond Pros and Cons

You believe in the conclusion, and then you create supporting arguments.” Daniel Kahneman

Or you think your hard and focused research give you the confidence to proclaim your biased tendency as the truth of your subject matter?

You weigh options based on the decision you’ve already made, while pretending to be open minded.

The pros and cons method doesn’t work because you discount options that don’t support the decision you’ve already made.

Leaders make decisions and then find ways to look smart for making them.

Problems:

It helps to know the problem you’re trying to solve before you try solving it.

  1. What problem are you really solving?
  2. Why does the problem matter?
  3. What if you do nothing?

Process:

Explain the process when you include others.

Don’t delegate decision-making responsibility if the decision is yours. Explain that you’re exploring options.

How will team decisions be made? Consensus? 100% agreement?

Emotion:

Bad moods produce self-defeating behaviors.

How do you feel? Happy, worried, angry, afraid, fatigued, disgusted?

How might your emotional state impact the option that seems most desirable?

Sadness makes you willing to pay more but charge less.

Angry people tend to take more risks.

  1. What or who are you protecting? People hate losing more than they enjoy winning.
  2. What does your current emotional state suggest you are trying to achieve?
  3. How might you delay decision-making when emotional states are suboptimal?

(And anxious people tend to resolve a tough problem that initially was expected to be easy?)

Options:

  1. Create multiple options and narrow them to three. (Why Not just 2?)
  2. Bombard your options with questions.
  3. Include others in the process. Involve Doers and Dreamers.

Bragging:

  1. This decision makes me proud because….
  2. Imagine bragging about your decision to your children, spouse, or parents. What would you say?

Relationships:

  1. How do these options impact relationships with customers? Team members?
  2. How do these options strengthen or weaken relationships?

Customers:

How do these options serve customers?

Mission:

Which of these options best fulfills our mission?

Authenticity:

How do these options reflect who you aspire to become?

Values:

How do these options express what really matters to me?

How might leaders go beyond pros and cons when it comes to decision-making?

What are dumb ways to make decisions?

What Social and Political System?  What Electoral System after the withdrawal of Syrian troops?

Written in Dec. 5, 2004

Note:  This article was written a year before the Syrian troops withdrew from Lebanon as the international squeeze on mandated Syria was on to vacate Lebanon.

The dialogue on “what Lebanon we want for after the Syrian withdrawal” is still not serious and very superficial.

There are nowadays heated discussions about the parliamentary laws for the coming election in April and the heavy interference of the Syrian intelligence services in our internal affairs.

The coalitions of pro and con the current political orientations of the government in Lebanon have missed their targets.

Their political programs are non existent. Their political discourses are plagued by coded insinuations of pure sectarianism and a coward evasion to face the requisites of the future.  The society has made a full circle to where it was before the civil war.

The only differences are that:

1) the Muslim bourgeoisies (Sunni and Shia) have captured a sizeable share of the economy compared to the overwhelming monopoly of the Christian, especially the Maronite, bourgeoisie and

2) the polarization of the citizens into sectarian enclaves is almost complete throughout the land.

How the retreat of the Syrian forces from Lebanon would change this stagnant social fabric if we are still apprehensive of asking the right questions?

What forces would replace the Syrian forces to ensure law and order if there are no communication among the political parties?

How the Lebanese citizens could ever fall again into the trap that foreign powers could guaranty a long lasting stable political system that satisfies the interest of all the citizens?

We all know that the Lebanese Army (soldiers and officers) is old and still is no match to the entrenched militias who have been governing ever since the Taif agreement.

If Lebanon is to experience a profound and lasting rebirth, drastic political reforms have to be discussed at all levels in the society.

These reforms should attack the fundamentals of a civilized society, mainly a new Constitution and the clipping of the sectarian powers that is insidious in every phase of the citizen life and status.

What I propose is an alternative that would make digging of trenches a worthwhile endeavor if no rational responses are offered for a compromise.

I will develop two facets of Lebanon in the future:

First, the fundamental internal changes needed in the Constitution and

Second, the 4 political problems that are dividing the Lebanese society:  Mainly the presence of the governments with all its institutions in the South, the disarming of the Palestinian camps, the dismantling of all the armed militias, including Hezbollah and obviously, the withdrawal of the Syrian troops and its intelligence services.

The Constitutional acts to be discussed are as follow:

1) Half the parliament members should be represented by the female sex in accordance with the spirit of a true democratic representation.

The rationales: Women are more than half the population and their intrinsic problems are more intimately understood by them as well as their solutions. They will be the guarantee that their rights are fully considered, applied and secured.

2)   Election laws should be revisited.

Everyone who voted twice in any general election, municipality or parliament, and who can read and write in the Arabic language should be eligible to be a candidate. No fees should be attached to the application for candidature in order for the election to be for the people and by the people.

The minimum age for voting should be 18 so that new spirits and demands become major factors in political programs.

3)   Part of the parliament members should be elected on the basis of individual departments that would guarantee the fair representation of all religious sects.

The rationales: Electoral districts should include between 15,000 and 25,000 voters and a male and a woman deputy elected. This system might prevent unknown candidates to win by taking advantage of the notoriety of the other candidates on the list.

Also, this system will insure the representation of all sects implicitly and save the Constitution to be discredited by explicitly requiring that Christians and Muslims be equally represented.

Part of the parliament members should be elected on political party lines and syndicated affiliations and on the proportional basis.

The rationales: The political life in Lebanon is almost non existent because the political parties have been weakened and sidelined after the civil war. There is a strong link between the immigration of the youth and the political void that excludes them from expressing their dreams and their needs of varied opportunities.

I suggest that the election law allows voters to select two political parties so that part of the members should represent the political parties that come second in the ballot boxes. The second choices should be among parties that are non sectarian historically or have proven to include other religious affiliations in their membership.

The rationales: The non sectarian political parties should also be included in the first choice list of parties.  The second choice is important so that sectarian parties would embark on programs that would promote them to be acceptable by many more than one sect.

Everyone of the 18 officially recognized religious sects should be represented by one member in the parliament.

The rationales: It is becoming urgent that responsible and legitimate discussions on religious differences be aired to the public and how these different values might be affecting the interests of all citizens..

Decentralization and autonomy of the districts in the administration and financial spending on projects and programs so that competition heighten performance and efficiency.

The rationales: Many ministries have to be eliminated and decentralized so that communities start enjoying the benefits of the concept of subsidiaries.

Ministries like Youth, Sport, Tourism and Communication (Propaganda)…should be dismantled and regrouped within the administration of the districts (Mohafazat) and a post of a general counsel, for each one of these ministries, attached to the Prime Minister, has to be created in order to coordinate and harmonize among the administrations of the districts.

The districts have to keep three quarter of the tax revenue without the need to be redistributed by the Ministry of Finance at later date, if ever. I suggest that Lebanon should be divided into only 3 districts having a continuous link from the sea to the Bekaa Valley, direction west/east.

Beirut should NOT have a special status since all the central administrations are located in the Capital and would enjoy the expenditures of the central government anyway.

Competition for performance and attraction of investments would drive these districts into steady growth in all fields.

The Mohafazat should enjoy their seaports, local airports and equal number of citizens and land size. The local airports should service the internal requirements, Syria, Jordan, Palestine, Egypt, Iraq, Turkey, and Cyprus.

Election of the administrative bodies of the Mohafazat should take place with the elections of municipalities.

The Northern and Southern regions should retain three quarter of the tax revenue for 4 years, because they were denied serious budget investment since Independence, the middle region two third and Beirut a third. These proportions should be revisited on the fourth year to establish an equitable balance.

As working examples, the North region might include the departments (Cadaa) of Batroun all the way to the northern borders of Lebanon with Syria and the Bekaa and Hermil to the East;

The South region might include the departments of Shouf in the north all the way to the southern borders of Lebanon and the Hasbaya and Rashaya in the East.

The Middle region might include the departments of Jbeil in the north, Aley in the South and Zahle and middle Bekaa in the East all the way to the eastern borders..

Civil marriage should be the law of the land.  Providing options outside the civil law is tantamount of increasing the power of the religious sects by their effective means of rendering the law virtually weak and inexistent

All marital rights and responsibilities, like heritage, divorce, adoptions and so forth should be governed by civil laws.

The rationales: It is about time that sectarian powers to our everyday life are reduced to their bare minimum and allowing the citizens to mingle, communicate freely and do commerce freely among them.

The President of the Republic should be elected by the people for 4 years with the option of being reelected for another single term.

The rationales: It is of paramount importance to curb this vicious cycle of making a mockery of the Constitution every six years in order to prolong the term of the President. A four years term with option for another full term would give strong incentives for the President to perform in order to be reelected for a second term. Personally, I would encourage the citizens to desist in re-electing a President for a second term.

The 3 highest political positions President, Prime Minister and Parliament head must be rotated according to their religious sect (Maronite/Christian, Sunni and Shia) every 8 years.

This rotational arrangement will be the best catalyst for thinking out a fairer Constitution and restructuring the rights and responsibilities of the highest political personalities

Ambassadors Extraordinary should be appointed in Beirut and Damascus.

General Commissioners for the inter commerce and common policies should be attached to the Prime Ministers in Beirut and Damascus.


adonis49

adonis49

adonis49

September 2020
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