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Make it Right

Make it Right

By Greg Kozera–

We (Lynnda & I) have been doing seminars on effective communication for years to groups. We make the statement most decisions are emotional and then justified by logic. One question we ask, “Before deciding to get married how many of you took a legal pad, drew a line down the middle and wrote down reasons to marry the person on one side and reasons not to on the other.” People always laugh and say “No”. Surprisingly, once a gentleman said, “I did.” Then added, “I have been divorced twice. I decided I needed to do something to change that.” He knew he made bad decisions when it came to love. He was determined to fix that. I wonder how his third marriage went.

As an engineer, I think I make logical decisions. When it came to deciding to marry Lynnda, probably the biggest decision of my life, it just felt like the right thing to do. It was an emotional decision. Like any couple we have had plenty of challenges but we have worked to make the emotional decision we both made years ago the right decision.

As a parent, coach and manager, I have seen people do some really dumb things based on emotion. We have all seen stories of someone who commits a crime and posts it on the internet with their smiling face. What were they thinking? What I typically have heard from employees and young people when confronted after a bad decision is, “I wasn’t thinking.” or “It seemed like a good idea at the time.”

Young people don’t have a lot of experience with decision making. I can relate. I did some dumb things when I was in College. It took a few times before I figured out I needed to make a change to avoid “the morning after”. Young people are driven by feelings and emotions. We have a friend who got pregnant as a teen. The baby’s father was a jerk and someone she fortunately chose not to marry. However, she still has to deal with this person who has joint custody. She is now happily married to the love of her life but has to live with the results of one bad decision. On her daughter’s wedding day, this person will still be involved. Some emotional decisions have long term results. Fortunately, most people learn from their mistakes. Our friend learned and chose to fix hers.

Leaders need to make decisions. Sometimes they don’t have all of the information they want. They may not have experience in a particular area. Circumstances can change. For 75 years a decision to build a petrochemical plant on the Gulf Coast would not be a bad decision. In 2017 that changed when an IHSMarkit Study showed our Region, Shale Crescent USA was the most profitable place to build a petrochemical plant in the world and was 4 times more profitable than the Gulf Coast. The decision not to change by executives is an emotional decision. People feel comfortable and safe when they are with the crowd doing what they have always done.

Fifteen years ago, many people thought wind and solar would be the solution to the energy crisis and climate change. Some are still stuck on that solution and are continuing to force it on people with dire consequences. California and New England have electricity costs twice the rest of the country. California is having brownouts. New England is buying LNG from Russia at $100 per MCF when natural gas is selling for around $2 in the rest of the country.

The Green New Deal used a British Think Tank model based on 95% wind and solar energy and 5% hydroelectric and wave power. No fossil fuels or nuclear power. What were they thinking? This model guarantees the end of 24-hour electricity and high prices for everyone. Wind and solar have a place but there are now other sources of alternative energy that are dependable and can be economical. Geothermal energy will be helped by new high-tech drilling techniques. In Iceland 85% of homes are heated with geothermal energy. For them it is cheaper than fossil fuels. Maryland is using geothermal to heat schools. Hydrogen and advanced nuclear can also be alternative future fuels.

For decades labor was cheaper overseas. Long global supply chains made sense. The world changed again quickly. Advanced manufacturing in the USA, an energy and feedstock advantage along with proximity to markets make the USA the most profitable and sustainable place to manufacture. Particularly when selling products into the US market. Decisions made to move manufacturing overseas may have been good at the time. Now there is a better alternative.

It takes courage to be an early adapter to change. It can be uncomfortable not to be part of the crowd. Leaders must do the best they can to take the information they have, mix it with logic and their gut emotions and make a big decision. Even with all of the experience and information available leaders can still make wrong decisions doing their best.

Like us choosing a spouse we may not always make the right decision. We can make the decision and make it right by not giving up after a problem and working it out with our spouse. We can learn and grow from our bad decisions and poor choices. As high school soccer coaches, we know our players will make bad decisions on the field. We don’t yell or chew them out. We tell and help them to “Fix it.” They learn from their mistakes and get better.

Leaders can’t always make right decisions. They can make a decision and make it right. Sometimes they need to need to change their thinking. Sometimes they need to fix a bad decision by making a change like bringing manufacturing back to the USA. Believe in your future.

© 2020 Shale Crescent USA

Greg Kozera, gkozera@shalecrescentusa.com is the Director of Marketing and Sales for Shale Crescent USA. He is a professional engineer with a Masters in Environmental Engineering who has over 40 years’ experience in the energy industry. Greg is a leadership expert and the author of four books and numerous published articles.