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Making Big Decisions

I have a big decision on my desk awaiting me to make.

Making Decisions

On November 8, 2018, I wrote a blog on making decisions. In this blog, I outlined a typical process that you should follow in making decisions. The idea is that by following a standard process from beginning to end, you will arrive at a logical, reliable, and defendable decision.

Having these kinds of processes to follow will always add validity to the quality of the decision.

The question today, however, is what about the big decisions that you infrequently encounter and for which you have no process to follow? These are the decisions that you only make one or two times each year, and are unusual enough not to fit your conventional decision-making system.

For the business person, these big decisions might include opening a new office, offering a new un-tested product line, or expanding your staff with a newly created position.

Big Decisions

While the process should be the same in making all decisions, significant decisions require several additional considerations that, if nothing else, will alleviate the anxiety that typically accompanies big decisions. Here are four considerations to add to your normal process of decision-making.

1. Integrity

For me, the first consideration in big decisions is integrity. It is not that in small decisions we can ignore integrity, but with big decisions, the integrity of the decision may not be obvious.

Ethics in business should be paramount in our decision-making process, and any decision that detracts from our personal and business ethical standards, our priorities, and goes against our nature should be avoided. Only consider options that are aligned with what’s truly important to you.

2. Accountability Partners

We all need quality people in our corners. Accountability partners are associates who we develop a relationship with over time by meeting on a regular basis to discuss life and business issues of mutual understanding.

These relationships take time to develop and need to be in place so when we have a big decision to make, we can take advantage of the accumulative knowledge and wisdom of these accountability partners. Accountability partners can be friends, business associates, respected faith-based acquaintances, and from our list of professional colleagues.

Big decisions are what you have spent time developing your accountability group for. When you need the best, most sincere, and honest advice, your accountability group is who you ask.

3. Experiment

I find it helpful to look for ways to experiment with the potential decision before having actually to make the decision. If the decision is bringing a new person on board, it is possible to have them work on a short-term contract basis first. Maybe you can open a new product line in a small market before launching into full production.

Through experimenting, you can see firsthand the impact of the decision without accepting all the risk up-front.

4. Don’t Look Back

As with the original process in decision making, once the decision is made, don’t second-guess the decision. It is made, so move only forward.

The Bible

Many people have found the Bible to be a source of inspiration and closure in making big decisions. The process of using the Bible to help in decision making, however, is not an easy process nor one for the novice Bible user. To use the Bible in this way requires you to study the Bible and saturate your mind with the wisdom of Scripture.

Many strong Bible students are capable and are willing to help you find what the Bible says for your particular decision. Just as Proverbs 11:14 says.

Where there is no guidance the people fall,
But in abundance of counselors there is victory.

When you are faced with a particularly big decision, take time to explore the additional considerations needed to ensure the decision is right for you.

We all will eventually be faced with having to make a significant decision, so, maybe now is the time to start laying the groundwork by thinking what additional consideration you will need to add to your decision-making process. And then start getting ready for the big decision to come.