Hey Manager! Here’s How to Make the Right Call

If you are the least bit entrepreneurial, you love to live dangerously. The thrill of the risk is exhilarating. But that doesn’t mean it’s always the best way to go. Many of the best decisions come from careful consideration combined with practical processes. Sure, it may sound boring, but a considered approach can ingrain habits in your decision-making processes becoming a foundation for greater success.

Before anything else, you need to understand the challenge. It’s more than just “putting a name on a problem.” You need to know what you are really dealing with … not what you THINK you are dealing with or what someone told you is happening. Assumption in stage one can kill you. Learn to gather information before you make ANY decisions.

If you think you have a decision to make before you hand down your edict, better take a moment to find out if you are actually the one who should be making the call. If it’s not your issue or if someone else has veto authority, you need to consult with them before rendering a verdict. Jumping ahead of the process only creates confusion. Sure, there is a Time For Action, but you need to know if that action crosses boundaries or upsets jurisdictions before you pull the trigger. I’m not saying you should not act, but, if nothing else, at least know who you’re about to upset.

Sketch out a plan then gather more intel. All plans should have a rough draft based on available information, then a more complete plan once you have additional details. Two more things here. First, no plan should be so static that it cannot change if circumstances change. Second, any decision must also allow for a pivot once you are committed.

The real reason you are sketching out a plan while still gathering intel is so that you are forced to actually Write It Down. Trying to make a decision when all the details are in your head is a great way to miss important details and screw up. While you can’t always take the time, and some situations require Right This Minute decision making, when you have the time, take the time.

If circumstances allow, share the decision-making process. If you’re in charge, don’t surrender the final say, but it’s always a good idea to discuss the scenario and the decision with colleagues you trust. Your decision will benefit from their wisdom. This is particularly important if they will share the responsibility for carrying out the plan once the decision is made.
Finally, always run the numbers. It may be a humbling or a frustrating experience, but understanding your financial limits is a key element of every decision-making process.

Roman Temkin is a real estate developer and an entrepreneur from NYC.