A friend of mine recently asked me to give her a full-proof formula for making good decisions. After all, she concluded, I run a business and anyone who runs a business has to make decisions and take responsibility for them and as I run a good business I must make more good decision than bad ones!
And it’s true the decisions a business leader makes often changes lives, as what is decided at the top filters right down to the bottom. The ability to make more right decisions than wrong ones is what sets apart the good leaders from the bad.
And she is also right that there are techniques to making good decisions and you don’t have to run a business to find them useful, because we make hundreds of personal decisions that shape our lives forever.
The first ingredient to good decision making is having courage. Some decisions are easy, but others are hard. You will never be certain enough that a decision will be a hundred per cent right so it really boils down to a straight choice between courage or comfort – you can never have both.
Start by thinking about what you need (a pay rise) and not what you feel (under valued). Understand the difference between what you think you want (more holidays) and what you really want (a better work/life balance).
The second is attitude. People tell me all the time “I don’t want to make this decision – it is terrifying” but more terrifying must be to get to end of your life wondering what would have happened if you had been daring enough to make that bold decision.
So change your attitude to decision making and live your life with a sense of possibility – not dread. Ask yourself what’s the opportunity here…. and what’s the worst that can happen?
You also have to accept there is a risk to all decisions as making a decision to do something often leaves you exposed. For example, saying I love you first, regardless of if he loves me back. I will still do this even though I know there are no guarantees of a return. I will invest time in a relationship that may or may not work.
But being able to make a decision for yourself is the cornerstone of confidence, as you selected, you have chosen, you have decided on what’s right for you and set yourself on a path. Confidence is the key to success, because if you believe in yourself others will to.
Someone once told me that there are many cheap seats in the world.
These are the seats way-away from the action in which people sit at a distance and criticize others who are having a go at life. The people in these seats never risk anything and never get close to the action themselves.
Ignore these people, they have no value. I can assure you as someone who has had a real go at making something of my life, that being daring enough to make decisions is not about the winning or loosing, its about never quitting. And having a go at life starts when you have the boldness to make your own decisions.