I am not talking about moments in life where you make choices where the outcome was predefined. I am talking about decisive and high impact decisions which can make or break your career and the careers of many behind you. Based on what do you make these decisions?
The wise words of an aged successful entrepreneur rang a bell. During our conversations, when I asked him how he made those important decisions, he thought for a while and remarked “base your decisions on data NOT opinion” if we observe closely very often we make decisions based on the opinions of others. Very often we ask the question ‘What do you think?’ and seldom follow it with ‘Why do you think so?’. It is our hope (another assumption) that they have done their homework of studying their data before making the suggestion.
While I am not questioning the trust that you place on your lieutenants and advisors there are two reasons why I strongly urge my CEO clients to look at the data before we have discussions on the decision points:
1) As you look through the data you will see patterns that no one else can see because every pair of eyes are different
2) It makes you more objective about the situation, for opinions most often are shaded with a tinge of emotions and an amount of past baggage
Therefore the next time when you face a decision point, especially a strategic one, check if you have seen the data before signing the decision off…