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Feb 01, 2017

Business Matters: Decision Making

Glen J. Dalakian, Sr.

Decisions can sometimes appear easy, especially for those who make them day in and day out. I’m not talking about mundane choices like where to go to lunch or what tie to wear, but the serious ones, which are not only worth strong consideration, but need your undivided attention – perhaps even those choices that warrant writing about for the benefit of all who would look for wisdom from those with more experience. Seasoned entrepreneurs often make the process seem simple, but the more far-reaching the circumstances, the more discerning we should be.

Emergent situations aside, a leader needs to be asking questions before they make substantial business or personal decisions. Some that I will often consider are:

  1. What are the available options?
  2. Who should I ask to be involved in the decision-making process?
  3. How do I know when I have ample information?
  4. When is the deadline to decide and move ahead?
  5. Is the choice mine alone or do I need agreement from others?

In the case of the really important choices, I go the extra mile and write down the pros and cons. Sometimes, seeing the stark differences in writing and right in front of us can be an eye-opener.  It certainly brings the facts more into focus. Often, I will do this in a side-by-side comparison so that I can clearly see how the pros may stack up next to the cons. It helps me to balance these items and may also be of benefit for others involved in the process.

I have also found there can be more to major decisions than the nuts and bolts of the situation. Important decisions that could shape your future have moral implications, as well, either in the consequences or in the implementation. What’s the right thing to do for all who may be impacted? What actually needs to be done? Take off the table anything that may be unethical, illegal, or immoral and it may help clear the filed to the best options. So much comes into play and this is why time and effort should be expended to ascertain the best possible results.

Take a moment and think about decisions before you that need and deserve more thought. Gather wisdom in reflection, or from mentors or others with experience in the area of concern. Evaluate what resources you will need to bring to bear in order to support your chosen course and then move ahead.

Once made, keep looking forward and follow your heart. Don’t second guess yourself, as wavering can often cause more damage than forging ahead with your original choice. Besides, if you have developed a pattern in which you are confident to get to the answers, it deserves following through to achieve the desired goal.

“The best decision-makers are those who are willing to suffer the most over the decisions but still retain their ability to be decisive.” ~ M. Scott Peck, psychiatrist and author.