A Golden Rule for Making the Right Decision
Anthony Soohoo worked for Apple on the launch of the Apple PowerBook. Testing had shown that a very small sample of PowerBooks contained a harmful flaw. Soohoo was “under tremendous pressure to make a decision on whether or not to hold off bringing the product to market.” Millions of dollars would be lost through a delay, but there was also long-term risk in moving forward.
Soohoo made the decision to hold off on the product launch by putting himself in his customer’s shoes.
“If the flaw was bigger than we thought, it could have created a huge loss of trust with our customers,” Soohoo said. “Putting myself in the shoes of our customers, I think that’s what they would have expected Apple to do. Not a popular decision at the time, but it was the right decision for the business.”
Soohoo’s reasoning was a reformulation of the golden rule that Jesus set out in Matthew 7: Do to others as you would have them do to you. It’s a simple rule to apply to decisions because there’s only one question to ask: If roles were reversed, what would I like done to me?
Even though this rule is simple to apply, following through on the right decision isn’t always easy. Doing the right thing often entails personal risk. And there are competing pressures in the workplace. You may feel pressure to do something easier, rather than go through with the decision you know is right.
We can evaluate decisions by their consequences, by their effect on our character or by their effect on others around us. In the end, doing the right thing is a habit we cultivate with practice. Ask God for both the wisdom to make the right decision and the courage to follow through.
Lord, give me guidance to make the right decision and strength to follow through. Amen.
Read more about loving others through our work from the Theology of Work Bible Commentary article “Loving Your Neighbor as Yourself.”
Information for today’s case study came from “7 Business Leaders Share How They Solved the Biggest Moral Dilemmas of Their Careers.” Fast Company, 2 June 2015, https://www.fastcompany.com/3046630/lessons-learned/7-business-leaders-share-how-they-solved-the-biggest-moral-dilemmas-of-their