Before you start reading, write down two things:
1) The biggest problem you’re facing with your business
— (be honest, no one is looking)
2) The time-frame in which you need to resolve it
Now apply each of the following steps to your problem.
The only reason you have a problem is…
Do you have an issue or a problem related your business that you’re juggling right now?
(If you’re not, then you must have all the answers – and I’d like to meet you)
If you are like most business owners, you are actually juggling 136 issues. Dealing with issues is a big part of your day, maybe it’s even your whole day… I don’t know what you’re problem is, but I do know why you have one -
The ONLY reason you have a problem is – you HAVEN’T made a decision.
So… WHY haven’t you made a decision?
Napoleon Bonaparte, considered by many to be a great leader, figured it out long ago – “Nothing is more difficult and therefore more precious than to be able to decide.”
Not only do you need to make one, you need to make a GOOD one:
Jim Collins realized through the examination of multiple great companies – the number one common denominator with great leaders and leadership teams is… the ability to make good decisions.
Your business success is directly proportional to your ability to make good decisions
Leaders struggle with two challenges
Leaders struggle with two challenges when trying to make good decisions:
- Making bad decisions, and
- Taking far too long to make them
In this series of posts, I’ll deal with both in a very straight forward way. You will learn:
There are 5 Simple Steps* to consistently making good decisions.
The discovery of these steps came about as a result of reflecting on what it is that we do for our EOS clients every day. The conclusion being, we help them make decisions — several hundred times a year, during our day long sessions with leadership teams. We make, on average, 15 decisions per session, so with over 1400 hundred sessions, that’s over 20,000 decisions we guided. Using this experience we looked at the common threads that run through the process of decision making and identified these steps.
Literally hundreds of business leaders and leadership teams have succeeded using these methods. But the same techniques could just as easily be used for families, communities, non-profits, individual’s, as well as companies large and small. These discoveries work in the real world, not just in theory.
Step 1: You must have Clarity of Vision
To make good decisions, you must be clear on your direction. If you don’t know where you are going, you might just wreck…Decisions are like course corrections, if you don’t know where you want to go, how can you make a decision, with confidence, regarding which direction to take?
Know where you want to go, and the decision becomes clear.
To know where you are going – just answer these five foundational questions:
- What are your Core Values?
Your core values identify what matters most. They are like the rudder on your boat, guiding your direction. For example, if one of your core values is Customer First and you’re faced with a decision that may better for you, but worse for your customers. Then your decision should reflect your core value – customer first.
- What is your Core Focus?
Your Core Focus should capture your purpose, your cause, or your passion. What’s your niche? What are you better at than anyone else? Knowing the answers to these questions allows you to make decisions that keep you focused – that are aligned with your focus. It’s very easy in today’s world of information to come across something new, different, or exciting. We would call this “shiny stuff” and getting distracted by shiny stuff will cause you to lose focus and ultimately not achieve your goals. By reflecting on your focus when faced with a decision, you can avoid these distractions.
- What is your 10-year Target?
The answer to this question doesn’t need be a 20-page strategic plan; just a couple sentences will suffice. But these two sentences can be a great asset when it comes to decision making. Suppose your 10-year target includes, “4x growth in the business over the next 10 years”, but others on your leadership team are comfortable with the business at the size it is today. If will be very difficult to make good business decisions, good course directions, until you and your leadership team get on the page with what the long term view.
- Who is your ideal customer, and what is the most appealing message to them?
The question you’re trying to answer here is- who you should (& shouldn’t) be doing business with. Typically, 80% of your revenue comes from the top 20% of your customers. Would you trade your bottom 10% for one or two more of the top 20%? Then get rid of the bottom ten and focus the extra time you have to go after those ideal clients that would make your top 20. One of our EOS clients regularly identifies their ‘dirty dozen’ and works to make them more profitable or drops them.
- What is your three-year picture?
Your 3-year picture is just that, a few bullets (5-10) to describe what your company looks like 3 years from now. Start simple with things like how many people, the annual revenue, the number of widgets being produced or the amount of services being sold. Now close your eyes and imagine yourself three years out from now. Describe what you see – just a few bullets of what it looks like to you. Once you can see it, and describe it, then others can see it. Share it with your team, get them aligned with your view. If you see $250k annual revenue as 50 clients at $5k each, but the rest of your team is thinking 5 clients at $50k each. Then your ability to make the correct decisions, the correct course adjustments, will be impaired. But if you get everyone aligned with what you see as the future, 3-years from now, then your ability to make decisions will be improved.
Step 1: Simply and Clarify your Vision, and get everyone aligned with it. Use your Vision to guide your decisions.
What steps do you follow to ensure good decisions?
*DECIDE! – The One Common Denominator of all Great Leaders, by Gino Wickman