Make the JUMP to Better Decisions

But on April 28, 1919, Leslie did something no one had ever done before.

He made a premeditated, free-fall, parachute descent with a pack on his back. After he left the plane, he pulled a ripcord to deploy the chute, and he broke his ankle when he landed.

Before this, parachutes were deployed from canisters on the plane. This had become the standard approach in the fledgling flight industry as a safety measure for pilots.

So imagine when Leslie jumped – with no attachment of any kind to the plane – hoping his new parachute would open.

He took the kind of jump that day that most of us wouldn’t take – on many different levels for many different reasons. But that jump led this young stuntman into business – a business that continues today as the Irvin Aerospace Company, specializing in parachutes and other life saving equipment.

While Irvin didn’t design the new parachute or the process, he did make a critical decision – whether or not he would make the jump. In retrospect, given the short synopsis I have just shared, it seems the jump was absolutely the right decision, yet at the time, I’m guessing nearly everyone thought it was crazy, rash, or just plain stupid. (Can’t you just hear Leslie’s mother saying, “You are going to do what?”)

There are hundreds of decision making tools available; however, in honor of Leslie and his fate-filled jump, here’s a simple acrostic to help you be more thoughtful and complete about the decisions you make – large and small.


When making decisions, you need to JUMP!

 Judge Using Multiple Perspectives

You will make better decisions when you consider the situation from a variety of perspectives. What would others think, how would others respond, and what would their reactions be?

The various perspectives you consider in different situations likely will be quite different (perspectives on deciding where to go on vacation versus deciding on which job offer to accept would probably vary widely, for example), but the approach holds.

Whether it’s a highly structured review or a quick overview, considering multiple perspectives will provide you a new vantagepoint from which to make your decision.

Uses of JUMP

You can JUMP on any type of decision, but here are some times when JUMP-ing might be especially helpful.

Considering a change? Perhaps your organization or team wants to change a procedure or approach. Rather than taking your own beliefs as your sole determinant, be open and ask questions of others. Consider their perspectives as you consider your choices related to the change.

Leading or proposing a change? Multiple perspectives here is critical both to proposing the best change option and to communicating it successfully to others. You will communicate and lead change most effectively when you communicate it from the perspective of others. You can’t do this very well if you haven’t taken a JUMP.

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