Thursday, May 28, 2009

Tough Decisions and How to Make Them

Surrounding Yourself with What You Need

Coach John Wooden said that it’s what you learn after you know it all that counts. Many of us who are in or will be in positions of authority and even power often forget that we don’t know everything. Or, we don’t want anyone else to know that we don’t know.

You have a lot of experience and many skills but the one skill that is most important is your ability to make critical decisions. Don’t wait until you’re backed into a corner. Develop that skill daily. Here’s how:

  •       You have experts on your team. Spend time with them; pick their brains. Even day-to-day conversations can give you nuggets of useful information you can eventually use to the benefit of your organization. Take a colleague to lunch. Chat.
  •       If you find yourself responding to an issue or challenge on the emotional level, back off, quiet your mind, and refrain from making major decisions until you regain your equilibrium. If you find yourself overreacting, allow those on your team to let you know. Listen to them. Give them permission to help you get back on course. 
  •       Constantly challenge others on your team to participate. Encourage ideas. There are gems everywhere. Listen. And give acknowledgment. They need it.
  •       Allow others to help you anticipate issues and their implications. You can't see around all the corners. 
  •       Continue to expand your knowledge and level of expertise, not only in your function as executive, but in all areas of your life. Open your mind to new possibilities. Perhaps begin a program of meditation, if you haven’t already. Moments of quiet contemplation can help rebuild your inner resolve. Yes, real men (and women) meditate!

At times you will be called upon to make decisions without having enough information. You’ll need to make them anyway. You’re on the cutting edge of opportunity, growth, innovation. The information in many cases is not even available yet. Now you can equip yourself to be ready and able to make those decisions when the need arises. 



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