Meet my grandmother, a kind, gritty Midwestern farmer who embodied the values of family, hard work, honesty, and loyalty. One of the most valuable lessons this wise woman taught me was about decision-making, a skill that this first WWII widow in her county, with an infant and a toddler to raise and no formal education, had to quickly hone to sustain her and her young family.
"In life, you either make the right decision or make the decision right, Andrea." Her advice was simple yet profound, just like her, and it guided me as an executive.
Sound decision-making is a crucial trait for successful executives, both current and aspiring. As one's level of responsibility increases, so does the complexity and impact of their decisions. Making the "right" choice when countless lives or financial stakes are involved is not an easy task. Savvy executives know how to rely on various sources of information, analytical methods, and most importantly, their personal judgment to make the best decision possible.
Astute leaders also develop expertise in the second option, to make the decision right. As markets shift, geopolitical landscapes change, key stakeholders bow out, or new data becomes available, they acknowledge that the initial choice may need further refinement. They review the unforeseen circumstances and adjust, letting go of the ego trap of hanging onto the initial "right" decision.
So, the next time you mull over a major decision, remember these two options and make the best decision with what you've got, knowing you have the confidence and ability to alter as the need arises. She'd give you an enthusiastic "bully for you."