Wednesday, April 10, 2013

A simple decision making formula

A friend recently asked me what a leader should do when they are stumped.  Leadership can be complicated, so it is easy for anyone to be stuck in a confusing situation.  I consider myself stumped when there are too many options or too many possibilities.  While it often sounds good to have numerous options when faced with a choice, too many can be paralyzing.  When all the options look equally good, or equally bad, it is easy to be stumped at which to choose and which to pass on.

Try this simple formula : YA + TV = NR  (Your Action + Their Values = New Reality)

Your Actions are what you will do.  But, that’s where you are stumped, so we will move on.

Their Values is how other people view the world.  So, “they” can include your team, your boss, your clients or customers, the general public, the press, or anyone impacted by YA.

The New Reality is the future result, the eventual outcome of the combination of YA and TV.  Usually this is your goal, your desired outcome of this opportunity.  It is currently the future, someday to be the present for you and all involved.

You are stumped when you can’t define YA, so set that as the variable.  Define NR, what you want, and TV, how others think and feel.  Ask yourself, “If They Value such-and-such, what would cause them to make your desired New Reality?”  Their Values is the connection between Your Actions and some New Reality.  If you can get YA and TV in harmony, you have great influence over NR.  If they are discordant, you have little influence on NR.

Can’t figure out what do to?  Start with NR, work through TV, solve for YA.

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