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How to Know What Lion to Chase – The Art of Decision Making

By Paul Gustavson

“There is a choice you have to make in everything you do. So, keep in mind that in the end, the choice you make, makes you.” ~ John Wooden

A few months ago at our annual Imagineering Day event, we heard from Dave Cornell on the topic of Courage in what we can do individually and corporately to frame our fear and pursue life full out. I want to follow up and take a moment to share some ideas on knowing what Lions to chase in life – whether at home or at work.

Every decision we make – every Lion we chase – affects and impacts our time. If time wasn’t such a precious commodity, decisions would be whole lot easier. So how do you choose the lion you are to chase? Here are three questions, called the three R’s, that leadership expert John Maxwell suggests we use to evaluate decisions.

What is REQUIRED of me?

Start with this question. Any realistic assessment of Lions to chase begins with a realistic assessment of what must be done. To be an effective employee and satisfy the needs of a customer, identify what must be done to achieve the project goal and support your teammates. This principle applies at home, too. To be a good spouse or parent, identify the important things you must do for your family. To be an effective leader, identify what you must do that simply can’t be delegated to anyone else. By determining your priorities, it’s easier to identify the Lion you should chase.

What gives me the greatest RETURN?

As you progress down the decision path of the Lion you are chasing, Maxwell shares that “you begin to discover that some activities yield a much higher return for the effort than others.” After determining requirements, focus on the Lions with the high return on investment (ROI) by asking questions that make you more effective.

What gives me the greatest REWARD?

This next part is gold. Maxwell shares, “If you do only what you must, along with what is effective, then you will probably be highly productive. But you may not be content.” At SimVentions, satisfaction is job one; both for our customers and for our employees. Our Mantra, “Imagine, Create. Explore. Discover,” is a permission slip for our employees to take charge and shape their work to align with their strengths and passions. Why? Because personal satisfaction can be what leads to innovation and breakthrough for all! Everyone wins when we Chase the Lions!

These are the three R’s on identifying what Lions to chase.  Intention must be matched with action.  We not only make decisions; we are made by them by the actions we take when we Chase the Lion.

For more information on Chasing the Lion and courage, we highly recommend Mark Batterson,, and Dave Cornell,