Make Better Decisions

Life is like the monkey bars: you have to let go to move forward. Once you make the decision to leap into entrepreneurship, be sure to loosen your grasp on old concepts so you can swing your way to new ones.

Leah Busque, Founder of TaskRabbit 

Decisions

While there are always right and wrong answers, there are no right and wrong decisions.  And each decision has consequences.

As entrepreneurs and business owners, we can always improve the quality of our decision-making.  Improved decisions will:

  • Shorten the time from problem to solution.
  • Reduce the need for backtracking, excuses, and apologies.
  • Improve employee confidence and morale.

Although I have written about decision making in the past (here, here, and here), this blog is about honing your skills and focusing on making decisions that are well thought-out and more comprehensive.

Make Better Decisions

Here are five simple steps to use in all decisions regardless of their size or importance.

  1. Don’t Delay. This doesn’t mean to make an immediate decision, but to start considering choices and options as soon as a problem is encountered.  Deciding to put off making a decision is, ironically, always a decision with bad consequences.
  2. Find an expert. All decisions are a string of small decisions, and one decision is always who will make the final decision.  While you are the business leader, you most likely are not the expert in everything.   Find that expert and rely on their judgment and experience.
  3. Question your bias. We all have predispositions that drive our decisions, which lead to making questionable choices.  Often, we want to select certain employment candidates, certain business processes, or interesting locations for reasons that are not entirely business oriented.  Following those choices is acceptable, as long as you are aware that they are part of your personal bias.
  4. Focus on the probabilities. Others have made similar decisions, so rely on what they learned.  Research is available for most business tasks, and if not, there are often testimonials and recommendations that you can follow-up on.
  5. Act. Put your ego aside and make the best decision for your business.

The Bible

The Bible provides two focal points for decision-making.  The first is from Proverbs 3:5-6.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways submit to him,
and he will make your paths straight.

Our commitment to God determines our direction.  God’s wisdom comes to us through His scripture and through the wise counsel of His servants.  All our decisions need to harmonize with God’s laws and His plans.

Second, with our commitment to God, we really have little to worry about.  Matthew 6:26-27 says.

Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?  Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?

When we follow God, we do not have to let the pressure of making large or small decision affect us.

Follow sound processes in making decisions. And rely on God to help you let go of the monkey bars and make good, sound decisions.