Seven Deadly Sins

by Ron Potter

PrudenceMost of us know about the seven deadly sins:


And I must admit that while I’m not guilty of all of the sins all of the time, I have been guilty of all of the sins some of the time. But, are you familiar with the four Cardinal Virtues?


I’ve been spending some time looking at the four and in particular the first of the virtues, Prudence. One of the intriguing definitions of Prudence is:

“The perfected ability to make right decisions.”

What better descriptor of corporate leadership could be found? The perfected ability to make right decisions!
As I began to explore the concept for prudence further, it presented itself as a process. Prudence breaks down into the functions of:


These are my words, not the words of the great scholars that describe the process, but what a great process to reach right decisions.

Give it good deliberation
Use a great and well defined decision making process
Go out and execute

Since 2000, one of the “deadly sins” that I’ve seen become more and more prevalent in corporate cultures is the attitude of quick deciding instead of quick learning leading to good decisions. With a quick deciding attitude, teams will ignore, steam roll, belittle or dismiss any behavior that appears to be or feels like it is slowing down the deciding process. In other words, a quick deciding mentality approach is anti-deliberation. It just doesn’t lead to prudent or wise decisions.
What we don’t have time for in our corporations today is non-prudent decisions. We must regain the technique of good deliberation to make great decisions quickly.
Let me know what you think. What is preventing our corporate leadership teams from spending the right amount of time deliberating so that we can then make good decisions? What are the roadblocks?

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1 comment

Quick Deciding vs Quick Learning - Team Leadership Culture March 12, 2015 - 10:01 am

[…] decide quickly changes the dynamics of decision making in a detrimental way. Good decision making (See my post on Prudence) requires good deliberation. However, if we’re in a quick deciding frame of mind we get defensive […]


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