Is the Answer in the Shiny Box

Growing up, one of my grandmother’s favorite shows was The Price is Right. Throughout the show, contestants are offered an opportunity to trade the prize they have in hand for the unknown prize behind door No. 1, 2 or 3, or, even better, the shiny box the host is holding. While the undecided contestant struggles to decide, hundreds of people in the audience scream out their opinions on what decision is best. The contestant has limited knowledge regarding the value of the item they possess, so whether pressured by the audience or internal panic, they often make the wrong decision, losing something high in value.

As professionals, we are frequently in similar situations: presented with a challenge, an issue, or an opportunity (much like the shiny box), we act in haste, deciding with limited information.  However, unlike the contestant, we can look behind door No. 1 (2 or 3) by asking additional questions for more information, clarity, and transparency. Offering up a real-world example – our teams may come to us with minimal information on a subject requiring a decision. Having them understand the importance of gathering key information helps them improve their problem-solving ability and thus their strategic muscles. In other words, more intel means better decisions (and maybe the shiny box)!

Making informed decisions is an art and science. Understanding the impact of today’s decision on short and long-term goals is vital. Gathering pertinent facts provides an opportunity to examine the benefits and risks of each option before proceeding to a decision. Vast amounts of information are available at our fingertips through online searches, contacting industry peers and consulting with trusted mentors.  The experience and insights of our peers and mentors can be as valuable as the shiny box.

The difference between the right answer and the best answer may not always be apparent, but uncovering the difference may present the opportunity to win what is behind doors No. 1, 2 and 3 and the contents of the shiny box.  You may discover accomplishments you may have otherwise thought were beyond your grasp.

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