How to Choose –  SHOW NOTES

Season 2, Episode 7 : The Principal

Tessa Mudge & Ken Smith


In Season 2 of How to Choose, we interview guests who work in a range of different professions to see what they can teach us about decision making in their specific work contexts – and about how they first chose to enter their profession.

In this episode we chat with Doug Braiden, the College Principal at Faith Lutheran College in Queensland’s Lockyer Valley. Doug discusses his surprising change of career from police detective to high school teacher and reflects on the challenges and opportunities of decision making in both professions.


Just because things have always been done a certain way, doesn’t mean there isn’t a better way! To innovate well, understand the system you work in, understand the goals you’re trying to achieve and think creatively about how those goals might be better achieved in that context. Be driven by your purpose, not your process.

If you’re considering a change of profession, consider whether there might be a role that sits like a ‘shoulder’ between the two jobs that could allow you to apply the skills from your old job in a new setting. For Doug, the shoulder between police work and education, was his role at the Queensland College of Teachers investigating allegations of teacher misconduct. In that role, Doug was apply a fairly unique skillset in a niche role, identifying opportunities to improve their business practices, before moving back into the school environment. A lot of brilliant innovation is born in those areas of overlap where creative thinkers apply knowledge from one field into another.

The Queensland Police apply the SELF test to support decision making. Will the decision pass the Scrutiny of the public? Is it Ethical? Is it Lawful? And is it Fair? What this demonstrates is that complex decisions require us to consider different factors – if we think too narrowly, we can make poor choices.

Finally, Doug’s passion to want a make a difference and his belief that every individual has value and worth are what drive him. Finding the things that drive you and make you want to get out of bed each day is a great starting point when you’re trying to make career choices.


How awesome was it to hear about some of the innovative approaches being applied at Faith Lutheran College! Check out their website to learn more –


If you’re enjoying the topic of decision making and think our show could help others, please let them know about us. You can find the show on all major podcast apps and players! And come check out our website –


In our next episode, we hear from Melodie Potts-Rosevear, the CEO of the not-for-profit organisation Teach for Australia. Make sure you check it out!

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