Making Choices – The Most Important Job of a Leader

Choices

Seth Godin published a blog about Choices and how these choices define the kind of people we become.

As an entrepreneur or a business owner, it is even more important to understand and improve how we create and make choices.

It is in fact the only thing that a business owner is responsible to do – to make choices –

  • whom should he hire;
  • should he hire or not;
  • what work to do himself and what to outsource or delegate;
  • which project to start and which one to stop;
  • which one to ship and when;
  • should he take funding from a VC or to bootstrap;
  • whether or not a product or a service idea is worth pursuing;
  • whom to partner with;
  • which markets to serve and which ones to avoid..

And many many more..

The better that we become at making choices, the better results we will get.

What we all as business owners need to realize is that making choices is a two step process:

  1. Create options
  2. Make choices

In any given situation, however simple or complex, there are many more options exist than the one’s that are visible to us at the outset.

So, before we make any choice, it is our responsibility to look at the options available and then try to understand the options that are not in plain view.

We need to create more options.

We can do this by creating combinations of options already available, by thinking about the exact opposite of these options and how that opposite can be a better choice, doing some amount of brainstorming, it the choice to be made affects others (customers, employees or partners), talking to them to explore if there are other options.

The more important the choice to be made, the more critical it is to go through this process and create more options to choose from.

As Daniel Kahneman has shown to us through his research, we all have cognitive biases. So, it pays to know our own biases and be deliberate about the important choices that we make.

As a leader, it is also our responsibility to teach this process of decision making to our team members. The better they get at this, the more we can delegate to them and free up our time to make more important choices.

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