These 6 traps will cause you to make and perpetuate bad decisions. Overcoming or avoiding these traps will keep you moving forward on the path to the summit of the God-given dreams inside you.

In this third episode of this three-part series on making good life and leadership decisions, David and Donna discuss 6 Traps Keeping You from Reaching Your Summit . This discussion draws from many years of ministry experience, some of the difficulties we’ve faced, and how those things are related to exercising wisdom and incorporating godly counsel in taking decisive actions and calculated and God-honoring risks.

For a time stamped outline, episode notes, and other practical resources, continue reading…


6 Traps Keeping You from Reaching Your Summit

Episode 019 of the Calibrate Life Podcast is the third in a series of three episodes on the subject of making good life and leadership decisions. We suspected the topic would lend itself to two episodes, but as we reviewed the topic between ourselves, we decided to do one more episode in succession related to making good decisions.

The 6 Traps Keeping You from Reaching Your Summit, deals with the things that hinder and block us on the path to our dreams. We like to call that path the path to the summit, as we press beyond difficulties on our journey to the destination to which our vision is leading us.

3:35  I first discovered the names for these traps from a Harvard Business Review article by Hammond, Keeney, and Raiffa entitled, The Hidden Traps in Decision Making  While familiar with the concepts of these traps, and while our discussion in this podcast is from our own life experience, this article goes into more detail in some different directions and may be of help to our listeners who want to go a little deeper on the topic.

We would like to give you a 23 page eBook entitled Decide: 6 Keys to Making Great Leadership Decisions

Receive this Free 23 Page eBook that will help you make better decisions and teach those you love and lead to make better decisions. In this eBook you will find…

… The complete information contained in episodes 017 and 018

… decision-making pointers and resources that go beyond the podcast episodes

… small group, coaching, and discussion questions and action plans related to making good decisions.

If you are a subscriber to the Calibrate360 Weekly Resource Update, look for the link to this eBook in the next two newsletters. If you would like to subscribe we will send you this PDF eBook.

Subscribers to the Calibrate360 Weekly Resource Update will receive a link (in the Resource Update) for a valuable 23 page eBook in PDF format that contain not only the information included in this podcast, but includes information, pointers and valuable information in printed form

#1 The Anchoring Trap [4:24]

When considering a decision, the mind gives disproportionate weight to the first information it receives. High capacity influencers sometimes fall into the trap of making quick decisions based only upon the information readily at hand rather than exploring the depth of their options.

[5:15] Another of our hiking stories!

Coaching Tip [8:27]

Challenge clients to think about vision components long enough to write down 5 goals. While they may only realistically handle one or two goals, sometimes, if they think long enough to come up with 5 goals, the 4th or 5th possible goal they think of may be more viable, or better goals than one of the first ones to surface.

#2 The Status Quo Trap [13:35]

This is demonstrating a strong bias toward alternatives that perpetuate the status quo. We choose the option that is closest to the way things are (the status quo). Cautious leaders struggle with this trap. Sometimes leaders try to go the easiest route because it is simply too much work to change things.

[17:00] To avoid this trap we must constantly remind ourself of our objectives–why are we on this path in the first place? Is this decision going to take you to the summit or just keep you on the easy path.

#3 The Sunk-Cost Trap [17:26]

Decision-makers tend to make decisions in such a way as to justify past choices even when the past choices no longer seem valid. This trap is huge and one of the most common that will keep a leader moving in the wrong direction. Sometimes the losses are great, but we need to cut our losses so we can move forward.

Involving others, getting fresh perspectives, and consulting objective mentors and friends can help leaders gain perspective as to when it is time to cut losses and move on.

Recommended Book:

Made to Stick by Dan and Chip Heath [17:35]

This is a great book about the communication of ideas. A huge part of decision-making, as mentioned in the previous episodes (017 & 018), involves the proper communication of the decision.

I love this book!


#4 The Confirming Evidence Trap [21:27]

Seeking out information that supports our existing instinct or point of view while avoiding information that contradicts it. We have a gut instinct, or even a sense of spiritual discernment, and we then seek only evidence and viewpoints that support our position.

We have to be willing to enter into conflict with our team to talk through the challenges. When people feel they have been heard and all issues have been reasonably considered, their buy-in levels are much higher.

Recommended Book:

5 Dysfunctions of a Team by Patrick Lencioni [26:46]

This is one of the greatest team building resources ever written. We love this book! The reason we reference it in this podcast is because in the presented process of team building, the author suggests working through conflict by presenting differing team viewpoints. Working through differing perspectives creates huge buy-in for subsequent team decisions.


#5 The Framing Trap [29:00]

This is the perspective or the way we view the problem or decision or the way it is presented to us. No pancake is so thin that it only has one side. When we receive information from a certain framework or perspective, sometimes, usually, it is important to look at it from other perspectives to have an accurate picture of the situation.

#6 The Estimating and Forecasting Trap [31:15]

Even though most of us are not very good at making estimates, we tend to be overconfident about our accuracy—which can lead to bad decisions.

Overcome analysis paralysis, but at the same time, we must question the accuracy of our estimates of the outcomes to make sure they are sane and healthy.


[36:00] It is okay to make a decision and then realize it is the wrong decision, or to take a wrong path, as long as you are willing to adjust your course and continue to the summit.

[shareable]It is okay to make a decision and then realize it is the wrong decision as long as you are willing to adjust your course and continue to the summit. [/shareable]