What Was I Thinking?: How to Make Better Decisions So You Can Live and Lead with Confidence (Hardcover)
How do you know when the rewards outweigh the risks?
If you want to reach your full potential in life, you can't play it safe. If you're too risk averse, you'll be resigned to a life of mediocrity. But if you risk foolishly, you may destroy your life's work and legacy.
But we can be overwhelmed by the sheer number of decisions we face, and the challenge of weighing the risks and rewards of each. In all this confusion, how can you be sure you won't end up asking yourself, what was I thinking?
In this new book, David Ashcraft, pastor of a large and influential church, and Rob Skacel, licensed psychologist and executive coach, encourage readers to embrace risk and to live their lives to the fullest potential, in order to both run and finish the race with no regrets.
David Ashcraft graduated from Texas Tech University with a degree in Business Administration. He earned a Masters of Theology degree from Dallas Theological Seminary and a Doctor of Ministry degree from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. In 1991, David began serving as the Senior Pastor of LCBC (Lives Changed By Christ) Church in Manheim, Pennsylvania. Under David’s leadership, LCBC has grown from one location with a weekly attendance of 150 people and a staff of one to eighteen locations across the state of Pennsylvania and a combined average weekly attendance of over 19,000 and a staff of over 280.
Rob Skacel is a psychologist with a Bachelor’s degree from Franklin & Marshall College, and Master’s and Doctoral degrees from Purdue University. Rob began his career in clinical psychology before transitioning to business psychology specialization. He served in senior leadership positions, in the areas of quality improvement and organizational development, in the private sector and later at LCBC Church. In 2004, Rob authored the humorous business parable, Tailing Mulligan: Mastering the Art of Workplace Communication. Rob is the founder of True Edge Performance Solutions, where he and his colleagues have provided leadership consulting services to nearly two hundred organizations and their leaders.
Pastor of Life.Church and Author of Winning the War in Your Mind
When I finished reading What Was I Thinking? I not only enjoyed it - I benefitted from it. In fact, I made a long list of notes that I plan to codify and then disburse to over 100 leaders at Ace. When I find a great book that stirs, moves, motivates or educates me - I try to “scale the read” by sharing passages and my notes with leaders throughout Ace. I’ll be doing that with this book!
President & CEO, Ace Hardware Corp
Life is full of risks, but some risks are foolish and can end a marriage or terminate a career. Even the smartest are tempted to cross lines from which they can't recover. In What Was I Thinking, David and Rob offer a 4-step process that ensures we make great risk-decisions at life's crossroads. "Don't do anything stupid to mess up what God is doing" is how David sums it up. Great advice from one of our nation's best leaders.
Sr. Pastor - Eagle Brook Church (Retired)
Speaker and author of Done With That and 7 Simple Choices For a Better Tomorrow
What Was I Thinking? is an enjoyable and meaningful read that grabbed my attention from the start --meaningful because I recognized decisions over the course of my career to “flee from temptation,” yet also felt convicted about having let my guard down a bit in recent years. David and Rob’s book offers leaders practical guidance and a stark reminder to remain “on guard” and tethered to God as we navigate decisions, large and small.
Founder, Spooky Nook Sports; Former Owner, Auntie Anne’s Soft Pretzels
“The ability to make good decisions and to take wise risks is the hidden ingredient that sets leaders apart.” This quote distinctly summarizes why leaders and aspiring leaders should include the book, “What Was I Thinking?” as part of their collection of literary resources. Chalk full of personal accounts and relatable examples, it reads like a novel, yet instructs like a textbook. Unlike anything I have come across, David Ashcraft and Rob Skacel present a unique model for making good decisions. So whether you are a young decision maker or a more seasoned leader, implementing the steps of this model is bound to help you make calculated risks that ultimately lead to good decisions.
Pastor John K. Jenkins Sr.
Senior Pastor, First Baptist of Glenarden, Maryland
This book tackles some of the questions that we all have wondered--why respected, successful, smart people do dumb things with unintended consequences. It happens in the church; it happens in the C-suite; it happens everywhere. It also validates that taking some risk is necessary for growth--personally and professionally. It's a great opportunity to set boundaries, determine acceptable levels of risk, and develop a gameplan for personal and professional success.
Founder, CommuniQué Marketing and Former CEO, ZO Skin Health by Zein Obagi
History is rich with examples of people who had success in their grasp and all the makings of a great legacy only to crash and burn on the heels of a series of bad decisions. In this insightful and encouraging book What Was I Thinking?, David Ashcraft and Rob Skacel explore what it looks like to make good decisions and take wise risks while avoiding bad decisions and foolish risks. As a fellow leader and pastor, I have had a front row seat to learn from David Ashcraft as he has lived out the principles of this book. This book is not just for organizational leaders, but for anyone who wants to improve in their ability to make wise decisions.
Lead Pastor, Grace Church and author of Untapped Church: Discovering the Potential Hidden in Your Congregation
In a world awash with analysis that focuses on conditions and circumstances, Rob and David bring us back to a valuable discussion on what makes human beings unique from the rest of creation — our capacity to make decisions and how those decisions form our individual character and the world around us. Simply put, Rob and David remind us that our decisions matter.
Executive Chairman of Nature Sweet Ltd.
If you make decisions that impact the lives of others, then you need What Was I Thinking in your library. This book challenges leaders who hold positions of influence in the lives of others to carefully examine more than just the outcome of our decisions, but also the methods we use to make them. Every leader desires a wise mentor to sit with them and help guide them through the dizzying fog of the moral, professional, and personal decisions they face every day. Well, this book is that mentor! Insightful, detailed, and clear wisdom that will awaken a leader’s conscience, inform their thinking, and grip their heart.
Marlin D. Harris
Senior Pastor, New Life Church, Decatur, Georgia
The world needs risk-takers: those who courageously step out and do something. But far too often, visionary leaders lose sight of what’s most important and step on landmines, sending shrapnel throughout their families, churches, and organizations. What Was I Thinking? is a timely guide to help leaders become wise risk-takers—discerning how to lead courageously without veering off course. David and Rob will help you avoid destructive decisions and apply biblical wisdom in your leadership.
President & CEO, HOPE International and co-author of The Gift of Disillusionment
We’ve all been there ... on the heels of a decision that could have gone very bad, when it hit us, "What was I thinking?" I can't believe we almost tried that! I was recently asked, "What would life be like if we could go back to age 18, start over and remake some of those bad decisions of yesteryear?" The problem is we can't. But we can make better decisions moving forward! David Ashcraft and Rob Skacel have written this book loaded with wit and wisdom to help us make better decisions and live better lives!
Sr Pastor, Manna Church
Not much has been written about risk-taking from a Biblical perspective, and I think David and Rob have nailed it. Because of David’s leadership, business acumen, and intelligence when making decisions and taking strategic (and wise) risks, LCBC Church has been among the fastest growing churches in America. And David’s calculated risk-taking has always been secondary to his desire to relentlessly pursue God’s calling while keeping others first and never focusing on self. This God-honoring approach has proven to be the true “Golden Buzzer” for David and LCBC.
CEO/Owner of Kreider Farms
You are going to make better decisions as a result of this book. David and Rob give such clear and helpful guidance for any of us who want to have the courage to take risks in life while at the same time avoid being reckless. In a world where power and influence have so often been used for destructive purposes – this book is a much needed roadmap for our times.
Teaching Pastor, LCBC Church and Author of No Easy Jesus
When I saw the title of this book, I knew it was going to be a winner. We have all asked ourselves that question, "What was I thinking?" And having known David for close to 20 years, I knew that the content would carry the gravitas of a strong humble leader that had asked the question of himself. Soak yourself in the wisdom from a leader who guides us all in discovering the powerful connection of good decisions and wise risks.
President, Ligon Group Consulting
The name of this book is the question that is asked by many leaders in a reactive way. The problem was, they weren’t thinking. David and Rob encourage the reader to be proactive in applying the DOPE Model and sharing personal stories of how it worked in their own lives. I highly recommend this book as great tool for younger leaders and a great reminder for seasoned leaders for both to lead well and finish well.
Retired Chairman, Clemens Family Corporation; Former CEO of Hatfield Quality Meats
Gleaning from their cumulative wisdom and experiences of seven decades of ministry and leadership, David and Rob present a practical approach to assessing risk. They introduce an effective model that can be applied to complex decisions as well as relatively straight forward ones. With candor and vulnerability, they share personal stories of the need to take wise risks to improve both personally and organizationally. Their model allows us to develop the skill to avoid that dreaded exclamation of “What was I thinking?”
Chairman, LCBC Church Board of Elders