Decisions

Over the time of completing my MBA I learned a lot of basic truths about business but more than anything about people. One of the things I recall my Operations Management  instructor telling us one day about the subject of decisions, “Making a decision is the easy part. Getting people to act on the decision; that’s hard!” That doesn’t mean making decisions is easy, but that comparatively it’s easier than follow through and execution. And I’ve found that applies to me as much as it applies to other people.

These are the basic truths that I have found about decisions:

  • Learn as much as you can
  • Get good advice to provide a variety of perspectives
  • Know your personal values and stay true to them
  • Decide as quickly as possible
  • Work out ahead of time how you will know you made a good decision. Count the costs
  • Avoid “sunk cost” thinking. In other words, I can’t decide because I’ve invested so much already in current _______.
Execution and follow through of a decision is hard for a multitude of reasons. Some of them could be related to how I communicate it, a flaw in the decision, or a problem in the person executing it:
  • Decision is not focused
  • It is not clearly understood
  • I lack commitment to the decision
  • Looking too deeply into the past
  • Looking too far into the future
I recall a quote from George S. Patton, US General 4th Armored Division in WWII. This does not make a complete philosophy but it does embody many of the qualities of decision making and execution:
“A good plan executed violently today is better than a perfect plan tomorrow.”
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About Steve Ledford
Christian, husband, father, businessman, engineer, and all around regular guy. I have travelled some uncommon paths in life. Over the course of time I have found that truth is always simple, without exception. My life's purpose is to find it, live it, and speak it.

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