Showing posts with label Decisiveness. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Decisiveness. Show all posts

Monday, January 30, 2012

Don’t Hesitate When You Need to Be Decisive

We once hired a graphic artist who blew us away with the quality of his portfolio. He said all the right things during the interview and seemed to be the perfect fit for our company.

But once he started working for us, we discovered that he didn’t have the skills he said he had. My two business partners and I decided to give him a week to show us what he could do. It turned out that he couldn’t even perform some of the most basic tasks. The morning we agreed that we had made a mistake, he was out of the company by noon.

Most of the time people don’t make decisions this quickly. That’s because decisions are tricky, especially important ones. You may have several options, and each one could have unique advantages and disadvantages. What to do isn’t always clear. You can’t know in advance whether your decision will work out.

If you don’t get it right, there may be bad consequences. People who matter to you might criticize your decision. And the wrong choice could cost you money. So if the stakes are high, you may be reluctant to move forward.

When you’re not sure, do these three things.

1.  Get the facts. Which ones are most important to your decision?

2.  Compare your options carefully. Consider the costs and the consequences.

3.  Do a gut-check. Does the option you favor feel right?

Once you’ve complete those steps, you’ll have a pretty good sense about what to do. So make your decision and don’t second-guess yourself once you’ve made your choice.

Remember, there’s magic in action. While it’s true that you should do your homework and evaluate your options, you need to watch out for the paralysis of analysis. Much of what you’d like to know may be impossible to learn in advance, especially future consequences. If you sit on the fence too long, you could miss big opportunities. So make your call based on the best information you have at the time, and then focus on getting the best possible results.

Keep in mind that a wrong choice isn’t the end of the world. You can always learn as you go and consider new options, no matter what happens.

In the case of our graphic designer, after we let the person go, we took more time with the next set of candidates. We clarified the skills that were most important to us, and we were more thorough about checking references. In other words, we learned from our earlier experience. And next time around, we hired someone who was a great match and worked with us for several years.
“Take time to deliberate, but when the time for action has arrived, stop thinking and go in.” – Napoleon Bonaparte, French emperor (1769-1821)

Friday, October 1, 2010

Decisiveness - Choose Your Best Option at the Right Time

When you need to make a choice, the fear of being wrong can paralyze you. The best approach is to think about the risks and rewards before taking action. Learn the three steps to take when you’re not sure what to do.

What strategies do you use to evaluate options when you need to make an important decision?
"The minute you choose to do what you really want to do, it's a different kind of life." - Buckminster Fuller, American architect 
"When a thing is done, it's done. Don't look back. Look forward to your next objective." - George C. Marshall, American general 
“If we wait for the moment when everything, absolutely everything is ready, we shall never begin.” - Ivan Turgenev, Russian novelist 
“There is no more miserable human being than one in whom nothing is habitual but indecision.” - William James, American psychologist