Five Reasons to Hone Your Decisiveness: Evading the Curse of Indecision

Five Reasons to Hone Your Decisiveness: Evading the Curse of Indecision

"Decisiveness is a characteristic of high-performing men and women. Almost any decision is better than no decision at all." – Brian Tracy, American motivational speaker and writer One of the productivity topics I see discussed repeatedly in the business world is the issue of decisiveness. You'd think there would be some consensus on how to achieve it by now, but every guru seems to have his or her own process. Some will tell you to trust your instincts and make snap judgments. Others insist you build team consensus first, while still others suggest you get all your ducks in a row, then take massive action. To some extent, they could all be correct, depending upon the circumstances and your depth of knowledge about those circumstances. However, the one thing they all agree on is … [Read more...]

Quick Group Decision-Making: A Brief Guide

Quick Group Decision-Making: A Brief Guide

"Most of us are going through life without interrogating whether our decision-making processes are fit for purpose. And that's something we need to change - especially when the stakes are high and the decisions are of real import." – Noreena Hertz, English economist. One of the hobgoblins of teamwork is groupthink. This occurs when a team rubberstamps the decisions of the team leader or a particularly strong personality without debate. Groupthink destroys creativity and innovation, and it often occurs because people have learned that fighting for something isn't worth the effort. If they get punished for even trying, or no one listens to them anyway, they will stop giving input. This results in a declining, hidebound team that just goes through the motions and falls apart when the guiding … [Read more...]

Get Back On the Horse: Recovering After a Bad Decision

Get Back On the Horse: Recovering After a Bad Decision by Laura Stack

"Sometimes you make choices, and sometimes choices make you." -- American writer Gayle Forman. No matter where you stand in the company hierarchy, no matter how well you've done your due diligence, and no matter how careful you are before committing yourself to a course of action, sometimes you're going to crash and burn. Bad decisions are inevitable, and they're rarely obvious except in retrospect. I’ve taken speaking engagements that, looking back, I shouldn’t have agreed to accept. It was a bad decision, and I wish I hadn’t done it. But I learned a lot through the process. Sure, you can minimize the occurrence and impact of mistakes, but short of hiding in your office and refusing to make any decisions at all, you'll never be able to avoid them. Your leaders expect you to make decis … [Read more...]

Bitter Reality: Making the Wrong Decisions vs. Making No Decisions At All

"It doesn't matter which side of the fence you get off on sometimes. What matters most is getting off. You cannot make progress without making decisions." –- Jim Rohn, American motivational speaker. By the time you reach management, you certainly know the consequences of paralysis analysis. This "vapor lock" of the brain can kill a project through indecision and perfectionism as surely as pulling its funding. In fact, pulling a project's funding represents a cleaner fate, because the project dies suddenly, rather than flopping around like a fish out of water, pretending to be viable for months or years, causing damage to the entire organization. One of my clients, a massive consumer products organization, has a highly “collaborative” culture, which is code for taking forever to guy buy in, … [Read more...]

In the Decision Comes the Dilemma

It’s the little moments that count. Specifically, one moment: The space in between choosing what to do or what to work on next. It’s that second when you think to yourself, “Okay, what should I do next?” In that space of time, you choose to be productive…or not. We face these moments in the normal course of our days. They represent a fork in the road, where we choose our behavior. For example, if someone cuts you off in traffic, in that split second, you choose whether to flip him off and or apply the brake. It’s not that you’re still not angry¬—you are—but you’re making a purposeful choice in how you’re going to let your self-talk manifest itself. If your partner is in a foul mood and says something snippy to you, in that following second, as you inhale, you choose whether to escalate the … [Read more...]

Overcoming the Paralysis of Analysis

"You've heard the saying, 'Analysis creates paralysis.' You can't be 100 percent sure of anything." -- Mark Burnett, British television producer. "The maxim 'Nothing but perfection' may be spelled 'Paralysis.'" -- Winston Churchill, former British Prime Minister. As a reader of this blog, I suspect you take your professional development quite seriously. No doubt you've dedicated yourself to constantly refining your time management skills, blocking distractions, trimming task lists, and otherwise doing whatever it takes to maximize your personal productivity at work. That's only logical, since honing your workplace productivity to a keen edge represents the best way to move your career forward without abandoning the "life" part of your work/life balance. Therefore, you'll want to use … [Read more...]