There is a formula in business (one of many!) that states:

Decisions x Actions = Results

If you can make GOOD decisions, and do something about implementing them, then you are likely to achieve good RESULTS.  This made perfect sense to me when I was shown the formula as part of a wider discussion about choices and the things we need to do in order to succeed.  But when I went away I started to wonder, how do you make good decisions, or at least make more good decisions than bad.

I gave this some thought and came up with the following list of five principals that help me make good decisions and which you may find helps you.  I stress that this is MY list and you may want to add or change one or two things.  I would welcome feedback on what YOUR list looks like.

  1. The principal of GOAL SETTING.  In military terms having a clear objective is vital to a successful campaign.  Flexibility of manoeuvres may be required to achieve the objective and the time frame may change, but both are perfectly acceptable.  When making a decision ask yourself: “Will this move me closer to my objective or move me further away?”  If it moves you further away, you may want to rethink the decision.
  2. The principal of INTELLIGENCE.  Also borrowed from the military.  Get the facts before making a decision.  If you haven’t got enough facts then seriously consider postponing the decision.  Also in a wider sense, always be open to learning opportunities.
  3. The principal of FOCUS.  Do what you do best.  Either drop the rest or delegate it.  Know when to say NO to people who want to suck up your time and prevent you from focusing on what is important
  4. The principal of VALUES.  Decide on your core values, stick to them and develop a culture in your company that delivers on these values every day.  Pass on things things that don’t measure up to your values, even if it seems that you may be passing up on a chance to make some quick money.  That is the real test of your values.
  5. The principal of ACTION.  Once you have made a decision be prepared to move swiftly to implement it.  Commit enough resources (but don’t waste too much either) to ensure the success of the action and the achievement of the goal.

That is five ideas that will help you make better decisions and in turn help you achieve better results.  If you have other ideas that help you that I haven’t listed, please drop me a line.  I would love to hear about what helps you. Thanks

Andy Burrows – The Trades Coach