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Game-On Business Decisions
by Barbara Garro

Albert Einstein: You have to learn the rules of the game, and then you have to play better than anyone else.

Always make your business decisions at the top of your game. All decisions have consequences. Never let any person or organization wear you down into making “whatever” decisions. Avoid “hope for the best” decision-making without doing deliberate due-diligence.

Theodore Roosevelt: In any moment of decision, the best thing you can do is the right thing, the next best thing is the wrong thing, and the worst thing you can do is nothing.

All decisions are risky. Risk makes you feel vulnerable. Vulnerability can make fear rise within you and paralyze your move to decision. At the end of the article, I give a Five-Minute Decision Process when you are pushed to the wall and need to decide fast.

Think right to decide right. Sounds simple enough until you remember looking and listening to media sound bites of high profile people admitting to bad decisions. Why do people who think they are smart make stupid decisions?

Over-confident arrogance, conscious or unconscious, keeps a decision-maker from solving the right problem with the best current information and failing to learn from past bad decisions. Consider also the curse of their smartness where they lead with their pet personal biases, illusions and thinking fallacies. Eyes forward about their goal, what they want keeps them unable to stoop to think about the perspectives of those they consider less smart.

Few have honed their decision-making game where they come to each decision without stupid stories from others, past bad experiences or signature fears. Consider, if you learned from others that people aren’t to be trusted and everyone is out for self, that’s a stupid story that can poison your decisions. Why? Decisions almost always involve other people. Deal with them clean of your personal baggage and give them the opportunity to build your trust.

Still, you need to know who you are dealing with by paying attention to a person’s Mental Processing Style:

• Do they first gravitate toward commonality or differences?

• Do they speak from a self-focus, other-focus or a combination?

• Do they evaluate by going inside themselves, outside themselves or a combination?

• Are they open to possibility thinking or closed to address need only?

Openness to possibility thinking can lead from temporary solution mindset to long-term solution mindset. In January, I had burst hot and cold water pipes. Need thinkers just want the burst pipes fixed. Possibility thinkers will listen to a plumber suggesting replacing the burst pipes with flexible plastic pipes and strategic re-piping above the floor to lessen the risk of freeze-thaw bursting pipes in the future.

Winning decision-makers anticipate. Anticipation is the ultimate power, knowing the situation, whatever it is, well enough to anticipate what’s likely to be ahead. Losing decision-makers react.

Perfect decisions are rare. Most decisions have benefits and drawbacks. Complexity complicates decision-making. The harder something appears to be, the more difficult a time you have moving through the maze to decision.

Consider, every important decision needs to work for you mentally, emotionally and financially.

Decision-Making Mastery requires—

1. Mental Understanding – bringing your knowing to owning. Knowing what to do doesn’t move you passionately to act until you own your knowing.

2. Emotional Motivation – in my upcoming book Grow Yourself a Business Life You’ll Love, I teach, B.A.F.A. Your Beliefs determine your Attitudes; your attitudes determine your Feelings; and your feelings motivate you to Action.

3. Financial Feasibility – when you have a clear idea of the time and money needed to make a decision, only then can you determine if the decision should be a go

If any one of these three are not doable, free yourself to say, “This one’s not for us right now.”

Steve Jobs – It’s really clear that the most precious resource we all have is time.

Always consider the time expense factor when making final decisions, because time stands above all as your most powerful, renewable resource. You engage yourself in Planning Misjudgment when you tend to underestimate task-completion times. Other’s estimates? That’s what contracts are for!

If you lose money, you can replace it, but time you’ve wasted is lost forever. Make each decision with clear discernment of its time impact. Understand the reality that some activities are not worth your time expense now.

Whenever you make a business decision, that decision impacts the entire company. Consider these Three Proactive Foundation Decision-Making Questions:

1. What is the time impact now and in the future?

2. What is the financial impact now and in the future?

3. What is the executive and staff impact now and in the future?

Decision-making grows fear out of unknown risks, lack of understanding and limited control of the outcome.

GOOD DECISION-MAKING HABITS

• Avoid loss, protect your assets to maintain business resources

• Analyze what you are being told with premises and proofs that are logical and consistent

• Get clear on downsides; defense is three times more important than offence

BAD DECISION-MAKING HABITS

• Tricking yourself into trouble by refusing to see downsides, because you want something so bad

• Winging it without doing prudent due diligence

• Beware of showing partiality in judgment based on best personality and failing to ask for references

GARRO’S PROMISED 5-MINUTE DECISION-MAKING PROCESS

• Remember a great decision you’ve made

• Go into a five-minute meditative state with the good feeling you feel about that decision winner

• Move out of your meditative state and make your decision

In Tony Robbins’ Money: Master the Game, he interviewed T. Boone Pickens. Robbins said, And, I think I remember you saying that the secret to leadership was being decisive. Pickens replied, But I can’t tell you specifically how I arrive at a decision. This is a billionaire decision-maker who on CNBC made 19 out of 21 accurate predictions on oil prices.

Vince Lombardi: The man [or woman] on the top of the mountain didn’t fall there.

How much of successful decision-making is luck? How much of successful decision-making comes from intuition, your gut telling you yeah or nay? Rely on the time-honored saying, Luck is where preparation meets opportunity.