Make the Call

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Leading
Reading time: 1

For the most part, we will benefit by making the decision then making that right rather than hemming and hawing to make the right decision.

Make the call, good leader.


In your corner,


PS: Making a decision right means committing to it and following through with deep confidence (not hyperbole or bravado) that you’re on (or even making) the right path.


How To Get A Decision Quickly and Painlessly

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Success
Reading time: 3 min.

Most leaders get asked to make bushels of decisions daily. It can be overwhelming for both the people making the decisions and the people asking for the decisions. Here is a good way to ask for a decision from anyone who is busy. Use it next time you need to get direction, insight, or a decision. Or, teach it to the people who ask you for decisions.

How To Get a Decision

First, consider whether you need a decision and if so, what decision do you need and from whom do you need it. Keep in mind, many busy people would prefer to make an informed decision than attend a less-than-structured meeting about the same topic.

Next, formulate the decision request like this:

  1. Issue. Give a one-sentence description of the issue.
  2. Impact. Give a one-sentence description of the impact (to the decider) of this issue.
  3. Options. Present a brief bullet list of the options available to address this issue. If needed, include a “do nothing now” option.
  4. Recommendation. State your recommendation, that is, which of the options you suggest they go with.
  5. Justification. Give your justification. Briefly explain why you recommend this option.
  6. Ask. Ask for the decision. You may get an immediate decision or you may need to negotiate with the decision maker about the time/date by when they will make the decision.

It’s often useful to you and the decider for you to write out these points. If you have detailed information to back up your justification, include it as an addendum rather than as part of your presentation/argument.

Many leaders tend to see meetings and other conversations as ways to dump work on them. They prefer the above approach because it demonstrates to them that you’ve thought things through.

Be prepared. Your decider may have other information about or options in mind for the issue at hand. This is fine. You may need to adjust your request for a decision based on this new information, you may need to accept a choice you hadn’t considered, or you may need to retreat, rethink, and return with a new decision for them to make.

Sometimes we need more than a decision from a busy person. If you are looking for a deeper conversation you can use an abbreviated version of this format to ask for that conversation. State the issue at hand, the impact, and that you would like to have a meeting to explore, get insight, get guidance, etc. Suggest that you could have the discussion now or schedule it for a later time. State your recommendation (now or later) and reason. Then, ask for their preference.


In your corner,


PS: 1 bushel = 30.2833 litres or 8 gallons. Any way you look at it, that’s a lot of decisions.


Today’s photo credit: Rob MacEwen cc

Four Types of Decision Makers

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Success
Reading time: 1

When making a decision, some people need to see that you have thought it through and given them some choices of solutions (and not merely a description of the problem).

Some people need to know they are liked and to talk out loud about the situation and possibilities before making a decision.

Some people need to hear all of the other people’s opinions and to have time to answer the question, “How exactly we will get there?”

Some people need all the data, guidance on deadlines, and time to get the right answer.

If we want others involved in making and implementing a decision, our job is figure out what types of decision makers they are and then give them what they need.

In your corner,


PS: Yes, people can be blends of the four types. One type will usually be most prominent in each of us, though.


A Conspiracy Theory

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Will=Our inner game
Reading time: 2 min.

Consider this quote from Ralph Waldo Emerson:

“Once you make a decision, the universe conspires to make it happen.”

If this is true, then anything missing from our businesses, careers, or life-in-general points to a decision not made. A decision is subtly and wholly different than a want (or need or desire). “I want X” comes from a focus on the lack of X.  “I choose X” means you, with quiet excitement, say “I will have X now, thank you.”

Once we’ve made a decision, the real trick is not slipping back into “want” for fear our decision isn’t enough to make it happen. We slip back into mere “want” to hedge our bets. “I don’t want to be disappointed. It may not happen,” we might say. “Who are we, after all, to have something happen just because we decide on it?”

Actually, it doesn’t matter whether or not Emerson is right. It simply pays to assume he is right. Would you expect to see better results by thinking, “I get what I decide upon,” or by thinking, “Deciding or, heck, even wanting makes no difference”?



In your corner,




Today’s photo credit: nemzetikonyvtar via photopin cc


Freedom of Choice

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Do=Natural flow of action, Will=Our inner game
Reading time: 2 min.

“Should I get a(nother) degree or start a new company?”

“Should we acquire this company, double down on that technology, or increase dividends?”

“Should we get married? Have kids?”

“Should I stay or should I go, now?”

Go deeply…no, sorry, much deeper than that…into an important decision. You will have to press past the thicket of pros and cons and across the river of data. Though everything will to tell you to turn back, push through the swamp of habitual reactions.

Soon, things become lighter. You first will feel a gentle relaxation then the warmth of home. As you enter the glade, you can sense the sweetness of all life.

Here there is no right or wrong, no better or worse. Decisions–which require all that calculus–give way to choice. In choice, there is freedom to pick any direction. From this clearing, you know that any choice will be fine. And the only criterion to use is, “Which option would be the most fun?”


In your corner,



PS: You do not need to come here for every decision (“Boston cream or maple glaze?”), just the important ones.


PPS: If this note doesn’t make sense yet, try taking a stroll in nature then coming back to it. Or, try Effectiveness Habit #2 and any of the feel-better tools like the flip, the ladder, telling yourself a different lie, the keep-or-toss, focus on the good stuff, and this is me.


Today’s photo credit: Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources via photopin cc



Posted 3 CommentsPosted in We=All Who Matter
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If we don’t agree on what is now true, what we want it to be in the future, and why, then we are doomed to having unnecessary and maybe even  unsavory bunfights over the how, when, and who.

If you are fighting over how, when, and who, stop. Go back. Make lists of what everyone believes to be true now, what everyone wants to be true in the future, and what everyone says are the important reasons why. Getting to agreement with these lists is usually easy because we have room for most everyone’s perspective at this level. When we agree at this primary level, our next level conversations (the how, when, and who) simply flow because we have given them reason and guidance.

Though it can seem that going back to the primary level is a waste of time, it is way, way easier to start back there than to (“Look out! Dinner roll incoming at 10 o’clock!”) keep arguing.


In your corner,


Today’s photo credit: jeffreyw via photopin cc


Posted 1 CommentPosted in Do=Natural flow of action, What=Compelling Focus, Will=Our inner game
Reading time: 1

How do you decide something?

You may take the reasonable approach. You gather data, make lists of pros and cons, get other people’s perspective, or look for precedents. These are all good, even necessary. And they are not enough.

You may take the emotional approach. You go with your gut, leave your fate to Chance, or be guided by your heart. Again, these are fine. And not sufficient.

We usually choose either the reasonable or the emotional approach. What works best is a balance of logic and feeling.

To your continued success,