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BP: Hi, I'm Bob Parsons here's Leeann.
Leeann: Ay, Papi, Senor Bob Parsons! Hola internet.
BP: One thing every leader has in common is we have to make decisions and, of course, we'd like our decisions to be perfect. President Lyndon Johnson, during the Vietnam War, said, "Doing what's right isn't the problem, it's knowing what's right." That's the dilemma.
BP: I've built three mega-million dollar businesses and in the process I've been confronted with all sorts of hair raising issues, fantastic, but not so obvious opportunities and seemingly insurmountable problems.
BP: To survive, I made thousands of decisions, many of which were based on limited information and/or simply gut feel. Here's what I learned about cutting through the (BLEEP!) and making good decisions.
Leeann: First, know what you want. Ah, that's the one.
BP: Decisions are made to take advantage of opportunities, deal with problems or simply to navigate through or around situations as they arise. Before you make any decision, know what you want the outcome to be.
Leeann: The clock starts now.
BP: Time is of the essence when it comes to making business decisions. When decisions are delayed, often the opportunity disappears. Or the problem worsens.
BP: Nothing is worse than working for, or dealing with someone who can't or won't make a decision. There is however, one time when you should absolutely avoid making a decision.
Leeann: Ooh, and when is that Papi?
BP: Well Senorita, you should never make decisions when you're in a bad frame of mind over anything, especially when you're emotional about, or angry over, the thing you're deciding.
BP: Decisions made when you're emotional or angry, will almost always be wrong.
BP: If you are in love with the deal, or angry over anything and a decision must be made, have someone who you trust make the decision.
Leeann: The most effective committee is a committee of three Ð when two are out of town.
BP: The best decisions are made by one informed individual. The absolute worst decisions are consensus decisions made by groups or committees. When an organization tells you they're managed by committee, instead you should hear, managed by mediocrity.
Leeann: Pay attention class Ð it pays to do your homework.
BP: Informed decisions are usually the best decisions, so, if possible, take time to talk to the employees, vendors or customers who have actually been dealing with the situation you'll be deciding. Then make the decision without beating it to death.
Leeann: Intuition is a key part of the formula.
BP: I find the best decisions are made with a combination of facts and gut instincts. So listen to the voice in your head, most of the time, you'll find, that voice is right!
Leeann: Make decisions from a distance...distance... distan
BP: If possible, it's better to keep the decision maker isolated from the negotiations or individuals you're dealing with. This provides flexibility and prevents the decision maker from being backed into a, well, not so good decision during a face-to-face meeting.
Leeann: It's lonely...at the top.
BP: Remember, not everyone has the view you do when you make your decisions. So some of the decisions you make will make you unpopular. That's just the way it is. You're the leader and when you're faced with an extremely difficult decision, often you'll find yourself alone.
BP: The important thing is to make the best decision you can, and take it from there.
Leeann: Nobody's perfect Ð especially you Bob.
BP: Quite a revelation Leeann.
BP: Perfect decisions are rare indeed. So make it your goal to make the best decision you can, then march. Business is affected by many variables that change constantly. Make decisions with the facts you have on hand right now, then change course as results or new information warrants.
BP: Well, that's a wrap for this episode. If you have any comments or questions, please post them here. I'm always interested in what you have to say. For Leeann and myself... thanks for watching!
Leeann: Adios, internet.
BP: During my life I've assembled a collection of 16 rules that I use to help me in business and in my personal life, hopefully they'll help you! Today's rule is, rule number 8 Ð Be Quick to Decide.
BP: Remember what General George S. Patton said, "A good plan violently executed today, is far and away better than a perfect plan tomorrow." See you next time.