September 22, 2017 –  Unsolicited Advice

My mother always prefaced one of her “you need to know this” sessions as, “unwanted and unsolicited advice”. She knew that her children were thinking it anyway, so why not say it up front. That said, what follows is unsolicited, but should not be unwanted advice.

The authors of this blog have been the beneficiaries of countless hours of leadership, decision-making, and communication classes, along with the over 100+ combined years in government service. Not to say we know it all – we don’t – but we know quite a bit. This blog is meant to pass on some of our life lessons and experience. One such lesson  is the idea that most of our decisions are made in the margins and the details are in the seams.

What does that mean? It means that the marginal benefit of anything you do should outweigh the marginal costs of doing it. An example of this is driving 30 miles to get gas at COSTCO for $2.35, when the gas station a mile away is selling gas at $2.45, ignoring the fact that you use 3 gallons of gas to get to COSTCO and back – at the cost of over $7.

In addition to marginal benefits, another lesson to consider is watch the seams. What this means is, the space between two decisions is where most often details are lost or misunderstood. An example of this is saving for college, then choosing a college that exceeds the amount of your savings. While this seems obvious, it happens all too often, both at home and work.

Paying attention to the seams, and the marginal benefit are two pieces of unsolicited, but surely not unwanted advice.

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