For as long as I can remember, it’s been hard for me to make tough decisions. Perhaps we need to pull the plug on a campaign that just isn’t performing, or maybe we need to let a seasoned team member go. It could even be that we need to decide between three applicants for a job, all of which look promising.
Here are some steps that I’ve used to make it a little easier to make hard decisions. Although they are super simple and may seem obvious, for someone like me, I hope they help;
1) Take a hard look at the data/facts
Often times, it’s easy to ignore the data; perhaps part of the reason is that you wish you did sooner and it’ll look even worse now. Trust me, you’ll feel better after just reviewing it. Look at the data, weigh the pros and cons, and make a decision. If you make decisions logically vs emotionally, it’ll be better for everyone in the long run.
2) Don’t justify bad decisions by calling them “long term moves”
I’ve caught myself doing this many times; I’ll say we need to go down a certain path, because although it doesn’t make the most sense in the short term, it pans out in my idealistic version of the long-haul. Sometimes these decisions work out, but more often that not, with pivots and third party forces we’re going down an entirely different path. I’ve created a new rule for myself — unless something requires a lot of ground work, or is part of an ongoing project, the most I can look in the future is a month; this seems to have done the trick in combating this problem.
3) Find someone to help you make decisions
If it’s hard to follow steps 1 and 2 I hear you – it is for me as well. One trick I’ve found to combat this is working with someone else. For me, this has often been a COO, but it could also be an assistant, chief of staff, or business partner. It doesn’t really matter who it is, as long as they are able to help you look at things straight and come to a decision.