Many years ago Walt Disney produced a television series, “The Legend of Davey Crockett.” The show was based on the Tennessee-born woodsman who became a hero, a political figure and who ended up fighting and dying at the Battle of the Alamo. One of the lines everyone who watched the show will remember Fess Parker, the actor who portrayed Davey Crockett saying in every episode was, “Be always sure you’re right, and then go ahead.”
On the surface, that may sound like a simple thing. I think in our society, many people tend to respond in anger and haste, rather than to take time to listen, to assess every point of view and every alternative before taking action. I recently spent time in a rapidly growing city where people drive fast, drive aggressively and are either very angry or love showing off the fact that their cars all have horns and that they can activate them at a moment’s notice.
I admit to being a fairly cautious driver who in an unfamiliar situation tends to rely on either the guidance of a human navigator or the voice of my iPhone’s GPS. These are situations where being sure you are right before going ahead can create tension with others who have apparently already determined that they are right and are going ahead
Instantaneous access to more information than we can possibly absorb and process can lead to our belief that we have been deliberate in making sure we are right before taking action. The fact is we cannot sustain the results of our actions unless we make sure we have taken this process seriously.
We have all acted impulsively and have come to regret our actions. How much better would it be if the first step in every decision was to ask the question, “Am I sure I’m doing the right thing?” Doing the right thing does not always insure that things turn out the way you want them to. Davey Crockett and a number of other patriotic Americans decided the battle at the Alamo was the right thing to do, even though it meant the sacrifice of their lives. There are some things that are worth whatever is required of us. I hope each of you has found at least one of those things.
The process of always being right before going ahead can, at times, be painful. It may put you in opposition to people close to you. Are you facing a decision where taking the time to be sure you’re right before you go ahead would help you commit to the course of action the decision calls for?
Good for you. Those are the decisions that lead to lasting results. Even if no one makes a TV show of your life, decisions made this way will make a difference. “Be always sure you’re right, and then go ahead.” Let’s remember this as we move forward.
–David C. Bloom,
CEO of IHS Services, Inc.
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