We all make decisions every day. Not all decisions, however, are created equal. Some are simple, easy-to-make decisions that really don’t have a huge impact on our day—let alone the rest of our lives. Some decisions affect our attitudes and our chances of success for the day or for the week. But there are some decisions we make that have significant consequences that we will live with for a long, long time.
When it comes to success in business, there are four critical kinds of decisions we have to make as leaders that fall into that “significant” category. If you make the wrong decisions in these areas it can cost you dearly in terms of lost revenues, unrealized profits, and wasted time. Let’s take a brief look at what kind of decisions we’re talking about.
People Decisions: The success of any business depends in large part on getting the right people doing the right things and making sure that they have clear accountability and metrics by which to measure that accountability. Great leaders develop the ability to choose the right people for the right task. And then they make sure these people understand exactly what’s expected of them—and how their performance will be evaluated. How are your people-choosing skills
Strategy Decisions: A business without a clear strategy can wander all over the map. But simply developing a strategy isn’t enough. You need to continually evaluate whether your strategy is providing the results you want. One good test for this is to take a look at your revenues. If your revenues aren’t growing as quickly as you’d like, it may be time to revisit your strategy. When’s the last time your evaluated your strategy in regard to your revenues?
Execution Decisions: You can have a great strategy, but if your execution of that strategy is sloppy, you’ll see profits dip—even in the midst of robust revenues. You may have to make some decisions about the quality of your execution—and how to improve it. If you don’t, you’ll likely find yourself working harder, but not making any more money. Are you and your employees executing your strategy well, or have you gotten a bit sloppy?
Cash Decisions: If you’re attempting to grow your company, you’ve probably noticed that growth sucks cash like a long-distance runner sucks Gatorade. You need to have a good handle on your cash flow. You need to understand exactly how long it takes from the time you spend a dollar (whether it’s on lease, salaries, marketing, or manufacturing) until you get that dollar back. And you need to make decisions about how you can shorten that cycle so that you can pay for your growth.
These four areas of business decisions are crucial to your success. I’ve only touched on them briefly here. If you’d like to dig deeper into how to go about making the right decisions in each of these areas (and you’d like some outstanding tools to help you do it), I’d like to invite you to attend the Gazelles Rockefeller Habits/4 Decisions Workshop on September 26, 2012 in Colorado Springs, CO. It’s a great event for CEOs and their leadership teams. If you want to learn how to make these critical business decisions—and accelerate profitable growth. Check out this seminar and sign up today!