Make decisions quickly
Deciding quickly on things that don’t require deliberation or collaborative input can fuel $1 million to $10 million growth like no other action. A 2019 McKinsey study found that the companies whose leaders make good decisions faster reap financial benefits:
Source: McKinsey’s Decision making in the age of urgency
Here’s how to develop that kind of resolute, decision-making confidence.
Get comfortable not having all the facts before deciding
Jeff Bezos said in a recent shareholder letter that if leaders are waiting for 90% of the information to make a decision, they’re too slow. Leaders with a growth mindset should decide on things with around 70% of the facts. At Ignite Spot Outsourced Accounting Services, we’ve seen the evidence of this practice reward our business coach customers time and time again. We can also say the opposite is true: Leaders who dally at every crossroads continually struggle to grow—and they wonder why.
Learn the skill of speed
“When a decision is made is much more important than what decision is made,” writes Dave Girouard, CEO of Upstart (and former president of Google Enterprise Apps). “A good plan violently executed now is better than a perfect plan next week.”
Some choices do require committees and collaboration and presentations and sleepless nights. But the majority of them should take you less than 10 minutes to make. This is a skill you can—and should—learn. And the best part is that it takes nothing more than on-the-job practice.
Remember what fast decision-making does NOT mean
We’re not advocating for you to jump into things uninformed or take massive detours from your long-term strategic plan in favor of distracting “opportunities.” We’re also not telling you to exclude other team members or stakeholders.
There’s a balance between these extremes and the more common paralysis that prevents the $1 million to $10 million growth you’re seeking. Find it, and you’ll run laps around other companies endeavoring to do the same.
Look to examples of fast, quality decision-making by leaders
Model decision-makers exist. Curate your own headlines to observe their decisive skills in action.
For example, you probably don’t want to follow Elon Musk to emulate his social media skills, but reading stories about how he handles challenges can inspire you to exercise your new, faster resolution.
Another example is the mining company McKinsey analysts describe in Three keys to faster, better decisions. They improved their meeting effectiveness by 50% by deciding quickly and unwaveringly to implement more stringent expectations.
Finally, SH1FT Digital’s co-founder Aristide Basque describes how cutting ties with a difficult anchor customer hurt at the time, but quickly restored their brand’s invaluable reputation.
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