Is this you?
- You take too long to make a decision.
- You get anxious that you don’t have all the necessary data.
- You feel great pressure to make the perfect choice.
- You enjoy researching the options more than actually choosing which one to go with?
- You agonize about the consequence of a bad choice.
If this resembles you, taking your time and doing deep analysis makes you the go to person for your friends and colleagues. You can be counted on to have all the research and analysis completed. They take your recommendations with the respect and appreciation you rightly have earned.
The downside is that power abhors a vacuum. So, if you don’t make a decision your whole team slows down waiting. And, while they wait, they get bored and distracted or make the decision themselves. Their outcome is most likely not as good as the outcome you would choose.
So, what to do?
First, assess the importance of the decision and the consequence of getting it wrong. Small consequence? Just pick one of the two best options. It should be a pretty good result.
Set a self imposed deadline for deciding. If you still don’t know, pick someone to review what you know, and talk it through with them until you choose. Or take it to your team for input and drive to a result before you leave the meeting.
Afterwards, assess the quality of the result. You may find, that you make 97% as good a decision with 10% less data. That is a good indicator to go with your gut more often and move your team faster towards your goals.
If you want to move more quickly as a team, one option is to set earlier deadlines. Or use the agile method that tech companies do. The whole team works together on one project until it is complete, then starts the next one. They iterate fast.
Many, many times a 90% solution is enough. Shoot, that was an A in high school. Why are you beating yourself up to get 100% on everything?
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