Michael Useem is a true storyteller. He is also the Director of the Center for Leadership and Change Management at the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania. In his latest book, The Go Point, he tackles the fascinating subject of decision time, that moment when we need to know what to do.
The gap between knowing what to do and doing it or, as Michael puts it, when to do it, is a place that continues to fascinate me. I have a bias for execution. Ideas are great, creativity and innovation are of enormous importance in our work life. When is it time to say "yes" or "no"?
"The Go Point takes you inside the heart and head of people at their go point. And from their experience and that of our own we will build a decision-making template, the principles and tools for being decisive at times when it really counts: Using small steps to make hard decisions, building a network of counselors and oracles for testing ideas, keeping options open until they must be closed."
We make many decisions every day. Some of our choices may seem trivial, however even the sum of all those small decisions may end up impacting our career, company and life. I tend to make small decisions quickly and break hard decisions into steps of a process. Many years ago I also started building a personal board of directors, which I staff with mentors or avatars who have specific roles in my life.
For example, my mother is the chairman of my personal board. She is the philosopher, wisdom guru, chief of curiosity and creator of magic, not to mention the fact that she is my best friend. Truly, she should sell time spent with her as meditation, recovery and fun time all bundled together. Other members of my personal board help me with business and career -- some over the long haul, some during a specific project or time period. The point is I draw from the collective experience and skills when I need advice.
How do you make decisions?
What factors do you need to take into account?
When do you have enough information?
What role do mentors play in your life?
See also some exercises from the book.