Jason Hietbrink

Four Keys to Upleveling Your Decision-Making

Four Keys to Upleveling Your Decision-Making

Every entrepreneur wants to get better at decision-making. Over my career, I’ve sought council from dozens of high-level leaders, listened to hundreds of podcasts and read dozens of books seeking ways to improve in this area.

 

And while decision-making will never be something we perfect, it is always something we can improve.

 

Below are four keys I’ve found help me in becoming a better decision-maker in life & in business.

 

#1 – The Cost of Inaction is Greater than the Cost of Making a Mistake

Mistakes aren’t the enemy.

Mistakes reveal that you made a decision! If you’re not making mistakes, then you’re not making enough decisions. The ONLY way to improve at decision-making is…wait for it… by making decisions.

 

Of course, that doesn’t mean you should be reckless about your decisions.

 

Gather Data

Leadership without data is like driving with your eyes closed. However, the goal is not to gather as much info as possible, the goal is to get the most VALUABLE information as fast as possible (within 24-48hrs).

 

Act Quickly

Whether we recognize it or not, most decisions are made in an instant. We think we took a week to decide but really, we took 6.5 days wasting time and made the decision in 90 seconds. Make a decision with 70% of the information you think you need.

 

Your team will forgive someone who isn’t perfect, but they can’t follow someone who is standing still. A good plan executed with passion today is better than a near perfect plan executed later.

 

#2 – Trust Your Gut

Your gut knows what your head hasn’t figured out yet.

 

Don’t try to make key decisions sitting in front of your computer at your office. Go for a walk, get out in nature, or get some exercise. Get out of your head and into your body.

 

The best solutions to complex problems don’t often occur when you’re trying to solve them consciously in your head. Let your subconscious do the work for you.

 

#3 – Use Powerful Questions as a Filter

There are many of these out there, but here are some of my favorite questions to filter my decisions through:

  • What’s the problem I’m trying to solve?
  • Is that really the problem or is this just a symptom of a deeper problem?
  • What’s the specific desired outcome I’m seeking?
  • What are my options?
  • What are two additional options I’m not currently considering?
  • If I were replaced, what would my replacement do? How would I approach/solve this issue 1 yr./10 yrs. from now?
  • If I make this choice, what other problems might arise as a result?
  • If things don’t turn out as planned, do I have a plan B? Can I live with those consequences?
  • Is this a decision only I can make? Empower people on the front lines to solve problems.

 

You don’t need to ask all those questions every time, but those are some helpful ones to consider to bring clarity to your decision and get yourself out of the emotional aspect of it.

 

#4 – Understand Not Every Problem Needs Solved

Best-selling author, Patrick Lencioni once said “Sometimes it’s not a problem to be solved, sometimes it’s a tension to be managed.”

 

Sometimes things are the way they are, and we must get good at managing the tension that exists rather than searching for a solution to “fix” it.

 

How do you know whether it’s a tension to be managed or a problem to be solved? Good question. I don’t know that there’s a cut and dry answer to it.

 

No question, when you have two sides that each want opposite things to make their lives easier, attempting to solve the problem might create more problems.

 

For example, there will likely always be a “tension” between a corporate office and the sales field of an organization. You can’t “solve” that problem, but you can manage it well.

Step 3

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