As an entrepreneur and business leader of fast-growing brands, one thing is inevitable – I will always be faced with countless decisions that need to be made every day. Successful business leaders are great decision-makers. An indecisive leader is an oxymoron. To be a great entrepreneur and leader, you must know how to make great decisions. So this begs the question, how do you make “great” decisions?
The other day I was listening to a speech that Dave Ramsey gave at the annual EntreLeadership Master Series and I was struck by the framework he laid out for making great decisions. The following are 3 key highlights and takeaways that I know will prove helpful for improving your decision-making as you scale your business:
Deciding not to decide: believe it or not, deciding not to decide is being decisive. As long as you are intentionally taking this course of action, it is a decision in and of itself. Sometimes we decide to defer the decision to a specific future day and we put it on the calendar. Other times we decide that the decision simply does not need to be made. Either way, sometimes deciding not to decide is the right decision.
Not all decisions are made equal: the size and scope of the risk, cost, and people impacted by a decision matters. If the size and scope of these factors is large, you should take more time to think about it, weigh all options, and gather ample information before the decision is made. If the size and scope of these areas is small, it is often okay to make the decision quickly, then adjust later if you turn out to be wrong.
Options, options, options: simply put –always identify as many options as possible before making a decision. Oftentimes we pigeonhole ourselves into thinking there are only two options available at any given time, when in reality, there are almost always more. Great decisions are made on a solid foundation of optionality. Take a negotiation for example – he who has the option to walk away often has more leverage, typically resulting in a more favorable outcome. My rule of thumb is this – for risky, potentially costly decisions, always gather at least 3 options before making the decision. So before making your next big decision, take a few moments to ask yourself – are there additional options that I haven’t considered? You’ll be surprised how quickly and easily you can identify additional possible courses of action that result in a better decision.
Additionally – if you don’t currently have a CFO on your team, I highly recommend getting one. A CFO can provide you with the financial and data-driven insights you need to make great decisions.
If you don’t currently have the budget to afford a full-time CFO, contact Free to Grow CFO. We provide the outsourced, part-time CFO you need to scale your business without the full-time salary.
For now, I hope these 3 decision-making tips were helpful and get your mind primed on how you can make better decisions as you scale your fast-growing business.