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The NASCAR Approach to Making Big Decisions.

By Whiskey Tango

Bottom Line Up Front-Slowing down in your decision-making process is critical when time is available.

Discussion- The old operator adage is, "Slow is Smooth, and smooth is fast". I used to think this was stupid. Fast is Fast. As a young operator, it was easy to get excited or overloaded with information. This excitement caused a syndrome known as "fast hands". The adrenaline dumped into us in a stressful moment causes us to want to move quickly. The operator's hand movements speed up but are ineffective. The patient they were working on might be bleeding out. Their hands move quickly over the patient but do nothing to treat the potentially fatal injuries. Most of us instinctively think like Ricky Bobby. Ricky Bobby was the main character in the movie Talladega nights. In a time of perceived crisis. We think something is wrong. "I WANNA GO FAST". NASCAR can teach us what to do when we approach a turn in our leadership race. Before the racecar enters a turn they slow down so they can speed through the turn. Slowing down in a time of crisis allows us to speed up in the end. If NASCAR doesn't work for you think Mario Cart.


  1. Understand Your Timeline- "In any moment of decision, the best thing you can do is the right thing, the next best thing is the wrong thing, and the worst thing you can do is nothing."-Theodore Roosevelt. You first must understand the timely nature of the decision to be made. First, understand who owns the decision. Next, understand the risks and benefits of waiting to make that decision.

  2. Avoid fast hands. Don't be Ricky Bobby. Remember Slow is Smooth and Smooth is Fast. To combat fast hands you have to force yourself to breathe. You must revert to a science-based approach to problem-solving. In a time of crisis, we don't rise to the occasion. We fall into what we've practiced. Practice good decision making.


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