Reaching Good Decisions

I spent a walk last week with a friend who is struggling to make a good decision. It’s more a personal decision rather than a professional one. And yet I think the decision process he’s facing is the one all of us who are making consequential decisions struggle with.
My friend is focusing on the consequences of all his choices. And that has created a circle of confusion.
There is a wrong and a right way to make a decision. I’m going to suggest that a right way, is one that is driven by authentic, clear truths. And from what I am learning as I observe many executives, those are not the ones that focus on the outcomes, or consequences to drive the decision.
Instead, authentic decisions need to come from what we can actually influence or control:
– the quality of the process of discernment.
– the quality of the data. Making sure we know just what data we actually need is key.
– our ability to see a vision. We must create from our intuition and imagination a picture of the situation and what can be. Without it, we have no reason to move forward.
Fundamentally, courage is the central piece of what any of us who make consequential decisions must do. We must have the courage to consider all the options regardless of risk and then carry out the decision. Regardless of the outcome. Holding onto the outcome means we are trying to control that which isn’t ours to control.
Being a CEO myself and then working with execs across so many firms, I see so much decision making that is trying to avoid layoffs, or ensure job satisfaction for a team, or confirm a deal WILL happen. But making a decision solely focused on those outcomes is both harder than it needs to be and inauthentic.
I’m co-leading a silent retreat for CEOs in about 8 weeks. I think this will be part of what we reflect on.

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