Sunday, October 17, 2010


This article comes from written by John Maxwell.  As a coach, you simply have to love the title of his piece: "Making Good Decisions Better"

Noted philosopher William James said that once a decision is made, you should stop worrying and start working. It’s not always what we know that makes it a good decision. It is what we do to implement and execute it that makes it a good decision… maybe even a great one!

Let me explain. On June 14, 1969, my wife Margaret and I got married. That was a good decision. But, 41 years later, I’m here to tell that good decision has become a great decision. It’s become great because of what we have done after we made the decision.

Too many people overrate decision making and underrate decision managing. There are two possibilities in making a good decision:

•Manage incorrectly and have average results.

•Manage correctly and have great results.

We need both good decision making and managing for our decisions to get off the ground and become great. It starts with prioritizing. With all the decisions we make daily, how do we prioritize the decision-making process?

What’s the Main Event of Your Day?

I want to give you a very simple approach that I have used for years. Every morning, I take five minutes, look at my calendar, and I ask myself a very simple question: Of all the people I’m going to see, and all the things I’m going to do today, what is the main event?

How do you know what your main event is? Here are a few questions I ask myself to help me come up with my main event. I call them the three R’s of prioritizing:

1.What is required of me?

2.What gives me the greatest return?

3.What is rewarding to me?

Each morning, spend five minutes going through these questions, and once you have come up with your main event, I want you to spend more time, energy and focus on that main event than any other task in your day. You don’t have to be good at everything you do throughout the day, but you want to be prepared so you can accomplish your main event of the day.

Decision-Making Traps

Too often, leaders fall into traps that cause them to make faulty decisions. They may not realize that their methodology is flawed or their thinking lacks the necessary precision. Here are some specific pitfalls that can sabotage your efforts to express yourself wisely and decisively:

•Procrastinating. If you tend to dread the finality of taking a stand or calling the shots, you may be tempted to put off the decision.

•Surrendering. Exceptionally hard decisions can deplete so much of your energy that you finally cave in. Rather than surrender, break a big decision into its components and address those segments bit by bit.

•Hiding Behind Information. Many managers’ exacting standards crave unending stacks of data before rendering a decision. The more facts and figures they accumulate, the more they still want before they feel ready to decide.

•Saying Yes to Everything. You’re not making true decisions if you’re always giving the go-ahead thumbs up. Charles E. Nielsen nailed it when he said, “When, against one’s will, one is high-pressured into making a hurried decision, the best answer is always no because no is more easily changed to yes than yes is changed to no.”

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