It’s said that great leaders are great decision makers. They both decide and act quick. My primary job as the CEO of Push is to be the chief decision maker. However, lately I have found myself suffering with decision paralysis and opting for the “let me think about it” excuse.
Reason #1: The sheer amount of decisions hitting my plate.
Large decisions should not be delayed and should be made as soon as possible, but many deserve a lot of thought and input from other members of my team and maybe even outside experts.
Small decisions, on the other hand, can almost all be made by me alone and should be made immediately.
But as I grow Push, take on bigger clients and grow my little entrepreneurial empire, small decisions are coming at me faster and in multitudes. I’ve been so overwhelmed with the small decisions that they’re creating a clog and backing up the entire process, thus delaying the big decisions from getting the thoughtful consideration they deserve.
Reason #2: Emotional roadblocks.
I’m an emotional guy. You probably know that by now. I’m not the stone cold business owner who makes every decision based on money. Sometimes I wish I were, but money just isn’t my motivator. Still, it’s important that while I shouldn’t be cold, I must begin making more decisions based on profit, for the overall health of the company and for the benefit of the team as a whole instead of letting emotions get in the way.
I started Push by myself. No partners. No investors. I grew the company by adding one staffer at a time as I could afford it instead of hiring a whole bunch of folks all at one time, like many of my competitors. In doing so the team always felt more like a family than a company. We’ve had past teammates that weren’t pulling their weight, didn’t fit our culture or were just toxic. I let my emotions get in the way instead of firing them. It was a mistake. I should have made the decision and let them go. It won’t happen again.
Solution #1: A new mantra.
I believe in mantras. I use them in my training, in my endurance events and in meditation. I repeat a saying to put my mind in a good place but also to drill that thought into my head, not just while working out or meditating, but for the entire day. “Embrace the suck.” “Relax.” “Peace.”
In this case, I’m constantly repeating to myself throughout the day “make a decision, make a decision, make a decision.” It doesn’t just come in handy for work, but even more important, when the wife asks “what do you want to do for dinner?” =) In all seriousness, as the man I am the head of the household and it’s vital that while Elizabeth surely gives her input and makes a ton of decisions, there are many times where, like work, I must be the chief decision maker. “Make a decision, make a decision, make a decision.”
Solution #2: Empower more decision makers.
I’m a big believer in the Pareto Principle – 80% of your results come from 20% of your actions – so only do the 20% that matters and eliminate or sub out the other 80%.
In this case, it’s time to sub out a lot of the smaller decisions by empowering my senior team, most notably Phil, Michael and Matt. They already do make a lot of the client decisions, but now I must empower them even more to make internal decisions like business development, processes and staffing.
Next step: Share your struggles too.
As I wrote last week, I’m going to start talking a lot more about the struggles I’m facing. I hope you will also share your struggles and what you’re doing to move past them.