Decision making is always a hot topic when discussing leadership. Yes, there are many factors that go into making strategic decisions, but I would wager that over 95% of decisions we make every day as a business professional/executive and as a person can be made swiftly and simply. We just make it harder than it needs to be.
Decision making is fraught with peril when we over analyze, over think, and self edit. There are really only 3 steps according to the Weedin method to make sound decisions. Here they are…
1. Will you be better off? Will you be happier, smarter, richer, better looking, thinner, have more hair, or take strokes off your golf game? Whatever the result you want, are you better off? If this is a hard question to answer after about 60 seconds of pondering, then you simply don’t have enough information to continue going on. Note – this isn’t about ROI (yet). It is a simple yes or no question. Will your condition be improved?
2. Can you afford it? Money is always a legitimate concern, yet we often use it as an excuse to delay or send someone away because we simply don’t want something. When I say “afford,” I really mean it. Can you make this investment without potentially crippling your organization or yourself? Do you have budget for it? Even if it’s more than you thought, will you be able to sleep at night if you go forward? Money is NOT a resource issue; rather it’s a priority issue. “Can you afford it” means that you are willing to allocate money away from something else for the value received
3. Do I believe it? Is the Return on Investment real to you? Do you believe in it? This involves trust and experience in the person or organization you’re dealing with. It means that the person, service, or product has sufficient credibility for you. Not only will you be better off, but you will be exponentially better off. If I asked you to invest $100 with me and I promised you a 10 to 1 return of $1,000 in 6 months, the only way you would do that is if you had full confidence in me, my process, my product, and/or my word. I would have to be credible and you would have to believe in me.
The biggest fear that decision makers have is they will make a wrong decision. Memo…there are no guarantees in life except for taxes (even when the government is closed because they can take your money, they just can’t write you a check) and death. If you allow fear to paralyze you through the self editing and the over thinking process, the delay or lack of action have greater consequences.
Don’t make decision making harder than it needs to be. Look at my 3 steps and understand that in nearly 100% of the decisions you will make today and in the future, this process will serve you well. It doesn’t guarantee that the decision is right (that’s what hindsight is for), but it will allow you to move forward.
© 2013 Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserved