The best executives I’ve worked with follow these rules.
Rule #1: Just-In-Time Decisions
Defer decisions as long as possible. Decisions that have a long lasting impact or will be expensive or impossible to reverse should be deferred the longest. Why? Because tomorrow you will have more information than you have today. Wait as long as possible before making decisions so that your decisions are based on the most data possible.
Rule #2: Connect the dots
Decisions should never be made in a vacuum. Decisions affect each other. They exist as a graph of objects not as dots on a timeline. The best way to organize this graph is to relate each decision to the greater goal it supports. When you look at decisions in groups supporting a common goal, your good decisions will amplify the effect of other good decisions by design.
Rule #3: Action trumps Inaction
Have a bias for action. If a decision analysis results in a stalemate between doing something and doing nothing; DO SOMETHING. Why? All else being equal – acting results in learning. Doing nothing just makes you older (and possibly fatter).
Rule #4: Be People Centric
Rule #5: Think Big … and then … Think BIGGER
The best leaders I’ve worked with are people who think about things that are bigger than themselves, their company, their racial background, their area of expertise etc… etc… These folks don’t see borders or any other limiting factor. They see the world through a lense of what’s possible NOT what’s probable.
So think BIGGER and see decisions as impacting people NOT things and you will make better ones.