Good decision making comes from complete clarity and rightful confidence. For this, one must step back from the current work portfolio and look at the bigger picture regularly. The number one barrier holding most people back from achieving their business (or even their own) full potential is their inability to make decisions.
A good decision comes from complete clarity and rightful confidence.
Here are the seven commandments that would help in nurturing good decision-making ability.
1. Take it!
The first and foremost important commandment in good decision making is — to make the decision! Lack of decision or procrastination leads you to failure. On the contrary, taking a prompt decision and then navigating through it, fine-tuning it on the go, can be a better option. So, therefore, the first important commandment is — to make the decision rather than hang in.
2. A consensus is not always good
Yes — you heard me correctly. There are tough times when the agreement is useless. If everyone in the organization is on the same page, then there is no need for a separate consensus. However, when there are different views about making the final decision, someone has to take the lead — and this 'someone' is always the leader.
3. Be strong and tenacious
Solutions are still simple, just that they might be difficult to execute and follow through. However, again, rewards are better too. Be strong and persuade the decision until its end to see fruitful results. Tenacity pays off!
4. Use primary and quality information
Information is a critical input for every decision-making process; therefore, data must be of the best quality. Whenever you face any burning issue, make sure that you get all the information — first-hand. If it involves many people to provide so, have them all together — present at once. Second-hand information may come with vital omissions or fundamental yet divergent insertion. In either case, it is too dangerous to use it directly, esp. when the decision is critical.
5. Decide with the big picture (vision) in mind
There are few exceptions when some decisions are made by keeping titles, emotions or egos aside. Almost all the time, keeping the vision and higher goal in mind does help. This vision not only makes decision making easy but also keeps the focus steady, leading to better and faster decisions. Even tactical decisions should have a strategic basis.
6. Prefer quality over quantity
There is always a laundry list of issues to be tackled. Handling them all may not be a good option. Prioritize all and take them one by one. The earlier you do the prioritization, the better it goes. If the issues are not mutually exclusive, you will often see that solving bigger ones removes many smaller ones.
7. Eliminate it, change it or live with it!
I always follow this fundamental principle in my daily life — business and personal. Whenever faced with some problems, there are just three options. The first and the most preferred option is to eliminate the problem forever from the root. The second acceptable choice is to conquer and change the situation in your favour. Moreover, if both fail, then accept it and live with it forever. Taking the as-is condition may not be sweet enough, but there would not be any option left either.
Decision making is not only a science but also an art that must be practised and improvised continuously.
The above commandments are just the beginning of it.