Making Better DecisionsPosted on: April 27, 2021
Every single day, as business owners we are faced with making difficult decisions. In this current environment of a Pandemic, restrictions and closures, PPE, and staffing challenges, combined with reduced revenues, these decisions become even harder to make, with consequences that can have far reaching impacts to your business.
It is more important than ever to make sound and balanced decisions if you wish to survive now and thrive in the post pandemic environment.
Often when I write these articles, I reference Vision as a key aspect to business success. I believe a Leader without a vision is on a nice walk; a Leader with Vision has purpose and focus.
Decision making relies on you to know where you are going, and have a clear understanding that anything which does not take you closer to that vision, is actually distracting you from getting there. This is why Vision is a key to your success, without it, you can easily be sidetracked from your path. I will write more about that at another time. For today, lets accept that Vision is important.
Once you know where you are going, its important to have the right people around you as mentors, coaches, or advisors. A good guide is one who listens to learn and asks great probing questions about the situation. A guide is not in your life to “fix” the situation, their role is to help you to find a better way to do what you probably already know needs to be done.
Your guides or advisors will provide you with many possible ideas and paths to follow. To choose the right path, consider these underlying aspects:
- Each option you examine is focused on opportunity and possibility. Opportunity meaning the right outcomes can be achieved, and possibility meaning that it can be achieved with the lowest collateral damage.
- The option is focused on seeking positive outcomes, attitudes, and eventual growth. This means that the solution creates the most positive outcome in the situation, that it is done with the best of intents and compassion, while preserving those aspects of your business which will allow you to grow at the end of the current situation.
- Finally, that each option is the result of listening (to others), learning (about limitations), Responding positively to ideas, and ultimately to grow as a leader and business.
Symptoms or Issues?
I have frequently seen situations arise where the symptom is what is being responded to, while the underlying issue is still firmly entrenched. As a decision maker, it is imperative you understand that a crises, in most cases, exposes the weaknesses that already existed. Therefore, it is important not to mistake a current symptom with the reason why it exists, and to deal with the underlying (real) issue before your resolve anything else.
Assessing the Landscape:
Every piece of advice you seek has pros and cons, and every question you wish to answer requires assessment. To define the environment that you would like to have your advisors build their ideas upon consider these aspects:
- Define your “Ideal Outcome”
This means that you assume the perfect solution with the perfect execution results in this perfect outcome. This is the Utopia of options and creates a clear understanding for those you speak to, of what you would like to achieve.
- Define your “Known”
What barriers, obstacles or situations exist which will challenge you to get to the Utopia outcome? The more you understand the “surrounding” landscape, the more you can plan to overcome or resolve.
- Build Workarounds
For every Known you can perceive, consider what a workaround could be. In some cases there will be no workaround, that is very valuable to know, in others you can overcome the barriers and obstacles through creative problem solving.
For every possible solution of piece of advice, a key question is: “how do we do this?” Anticipation of “how” is critical to assist you to “do.” Every time you move through a solution, it is equally critical to assess the success you achieved, and to adjust the next time you need to implement a solution.
Make the Decision:
Take the step. One of the greatest challenges to implementing any solution is analysis paralysis. When faced with all options, all ideas and all plans, make the choice and go full stream ahead. Those around you will appreciate your decisiveness and by taking action you create the momentum you will need to succeed.
Regardless of the decision you make regarding the solutions to issues you face, it is how you behave, lead and show the way to others which gains you the greatest traction once you have made a great decision. Ultimately, its your problem to solve, your team to lead, and your vision to achieve. Always, always be the leader these around you need. By reading and implementing some of these strategies, you are already showing you are coming closer to being the true leader that resides within.