March 23rd, 2013 by Gallagher John 2 Comments

Driving around with my wife the other day, a squirrel darted out in front of the car.  I swerved repeatedly to avoid it and to no avail, ‘klunk’.  No more Nutty, the squirrel.  I grieved…for about 2 seconds… then my wife and I chuckled about the frantic nature of the squirrel just prior to his demise.  Of course, I asked, what leadership lesson is there to be learned?  Suddenly, I found myself in conversation with my wife about how different animals in the road and how they react are MUCH like the decision makers in organizations.

squirrel in road1) The squirrel:  This decision maker will drive you crazy.  You ask them for a decision and they simply don’t know which way to go, they talk in circles, and eventually will make a decision, but the outcome is often not a good one.


deer in road2) The deer:  This decision maker often just plows right through, not looking to see if there are oncoming obstacles.  They simply don’t have others’ interests at heart.  Their decision making is not stable on the surface as well, often slipping and falling, BUT they have influence.  They generally have someone following close behind to run right through.


turtle in road3) The turtle:  Can we get a decision already?  No matter how much we encourage and push, this decision maker takes their good old time.  They will get there eventually, but they are usually way past due!


possum in road4) The possum: Oh, this is one sneaky decision maker.  And, sometimes you’re not real sure if they are really in support of their own decision, or if it is dead on arrival… Be careful of the possum!



cow in road5) The cow: Oh, you can see this one coming a mile away.  But, the close you get to decision time, you KNOW that you won’t be able to get this one to budge.  They will stand firm and just dare you to try to get them to make a change.  Good luck here!



skunk in road 26) The skunk:  Do I REALLY need to explain this decision maker?  Whenever you see this one, just go the other way.  The outcome is rarely good and it takes a long time to recover from this decision maker!!




So, which of these decision makers to you resonate with in your organization?  



  • Kristen Gielow

    Another great post, I love the simplicity and value in this one John. Thanks.

  • Thanks, Kristen.