Decisions are critical to keeping your team moving forward, but a lot of people struggle to make them. Kim and Russ share advice to help you make sure that perfect doesn’t become the enemy of good.
This episode is all about indecisiveness. Usually the problem around decision making is not that people aren’t making the right decisions, but that they aren’t make any decision at all! We want to help you avoid being indecisive or waiting until everything is perfect.
Russ starts the episode with a story about a great boss whose only flaw was not being able to make decisions. In one particular instance, this boss took so long to make a decision that he caused extreme frustration for the team, including Russ.
I no longer was pushing for what I thought was right, I was now just pushing for something to be resolved.
The boss wasn’t making the decision because it was a hard call — he didn’t want to make anyone unhappy. But by not making the decision, he ended up making everyone unhappy.
Kim shares a story from when she started Juice Software. The company needed to decide whether to focus on the consumer or enterprise market, but Kim couldn’t bring herself to decide or to let someone else make the decision. She ended up hedging between two and trying to do a little of both, but they became an enterprise company without meaning to. The indecision caused the decision to be made for her, and not the right decision.
Next, Kim and Russ talk about why people fail to make decisions. First, managers incorrectly think they need to make all the decisions and get bogged down with volume. But the boss doesn’t have to and shouldn’t make all the decisions.
Second, people don’t always know how to make decisions. Kim and Russ talk about how to base decisions off of facts instead of recommendations, to use data instead of opinions as much as possible.
If we have the data, let’s look at the data. If all we have are opinions, let’s go with yours.
Kim and Russ also acknowledge that it’s really hard to know when you have enough facts to make a decision. They talk about understanding your team or company culture to determine how to make this call.
The Candor Checklist
The episode ends, as always, with specific tips. Here are some ways you can start getting decisions made on your team:
Tip 1: Make a list of the most important decisions for your team each week.
Tip 2: If you’re not the boss, ask to take on decisions close to your work.
Tip 3: Hold weekly “Big Decision” meetings.
Make sure to listen to the episode for the full descriptions of these tips.
To learn more about decision making, check out these additional resources: