'Very often when we're asked to approve the use of targeted lethal force, it can only be in a matter of minutes. And so there's a lot of momentum to that. So to say no is like stepping in front of a 90-car freight train.'
- Jeh Johnson, Homeland Security Secretary and former Pentagon General Counsel
There can be a lot of momentum behind a issue requiring a decision.
It took enormous courage for him to absorb the momentum of opinion from the military and many of his advisers that he should start a nuclear war or risk losing one.
Few decision makers will confront these consequences.
There is a momentum of expectations acting upon all decision making.
The momentum of the experts and advisers that have contributed information and opinions towards their preferred decision and want to be right.
The momentum of the people who will be affected by the decision and who want to feel safe.
The momentum of those whose needs would be met by a decision in their favour and who want to be affirmed.
The momentum of the mythology of the hero leader/decision maker who is decisive and bold and thrives on urgency.
The momentum of the reputations of those who appointed the decision maker and can't be let down.
The momentum of the way it has always been done.
The momentum of a parent who didn't give enough hugs.
The momentum of the fear of being wrong.
The Five Steps to a good decision serve as shock absorbers that dissipate momentum and transfer its energy into outward visible inquiry, rather than internal, hidden friction.