Don’t Sabotage your career – Making decisions is a Learned Skill
It’s all about making consistently better decisions and then capitalizing on them to create the Outcome you desire. Yes, this is a skill that needs to be developed. During my time as a fledgling manager I made a decision that didn’t really work out the way I intended. In fact, it almost cost me my job.
I placed an enormous amount of faith in my “GUT” without proper analysis or gaining more knowledge based on the available information needed to make a more quantifiable, qualitative judgement. My instinct and data were faulty and my initial conclusion could have been very costly. When this decision reached senior management I was immediately summoned to the corporate office to explain – What, Why and Who Do you think you are?
It was at this point, the Vice President walked into the room and said, “Steve your actions created a huge issue for our company, what are YOU planning to do to correct this?” I sat dumb-founded with the deer in the headlights look, for what seemed to be an eternity which, in realty, was just a couple minutes.
Then right before I opened my mouth and might have said something stupid, I looked around the room at all the brain trust and began with 5 questions.
- Have any of you faced a similar situation?
- Why did you think you made the decision you did?
- How did you manage through to resolve the issue?
- Who and where did you seek counsel from?
- Did you turn the unpleasant decision into a positive outcome?
To my relief my SR. VP began to laugh, then all the others busted up and this serious situation I found myself in became a teaching moment. The skill of how to make better decisions was being taught to me by individuals that had experienced similar situations in their careers. What these scholarly men and women shared was invaluable and to this day I utilize their sage insight. What that experience taught me was”
- To Show humility.
- To Ask for help.
- Most importantly to Think first before answering.
I learned their methodology for avoiding making unfortunate decisions and developed the ability to make consistently better decisions by:
- Performing an (ROI) Return on Investment analysis on a potential decision.
- Asking is there risk?
- What are the positive and negative consequences of this decision?
- And probably the most important is “Make the Decision”. As was in my case even though the decision I set into motion could have been costly, I’ll never forget what the VP of HR relayed to me, “Steve, without making a decision nothing would happen.”
To Make Your Decisions Effective Don’t Make Them in a Vacuum
Analyze – Evaluate – Consult – Execute