Thursday, 21 May 2015

“Do You Make Your Decisions by Head, Heart or Gut?” ―Professor M.S.Rao

"In any moment of decision the best thing you can do is the right thing, the next best thing is the wrong thing, and the worst thing you can do is nothing." ―Theodore Roosevelt

Making decisions is a major challenge for leaders and CEOs. If they are expert in conceptual, technical and business acumen and have access to authentic information, they can make wise decisions and achieve amazing outcome.   

Information is important to making wise decisions. Choosing the accurate information is essential to achieve the desired objectives. It requires experience, expertise and judgment to choose from the available information. If there is access to authentic information and the decision makers have the ability to interpret and forecast the pros and cons of their decisions well in advance, they can make decisions easily, quickly and wisely.

Colin Powell’s 40-70 Rule

Colin Powell, the former Secretary of State followed 40-70 Rule where the decision makers must have access to authentic information between 40 to 70 percent. If you have information below 40 percent, you must go by your heart.  If you have information above 70 percent, you must go by your head. At times, complete information may lead to information overload and confusion. If you have information between 40 to 70 percent, you must go by your head, heart and gut. Less information keeps you vulnerable and more information creates apprehensions. Hence, adequate amount of information must be available to make right decisions.  In this regard, Colin Powell’s 40-70 Rule is ideal to make easy, quick and wise decisions.

Making decisions on complex issues is a major challenge for leaders.  You must have the spine to make tough decisions to resolve long pending issues. My personal decision-making involves keeping multiple options ready and then I seek inputs from various reliable sources. I refine my decision from time to time and implement. I take feedback to understand its impact.  If there are any mistakes, I take precautions to make better decisions next time. I basically go by my head, heart and gut. If I have complete information, I will go by head. If I have partial information I go by head, heart and gut. If I don’t have any information, I will go by gut alone.  I am prepared for surprises and challenges after implementing decisions. Depending on the sensitivity of issue, I encourage consensus to make all members accountable.  

Your personal decision decides your destiny. Your professional decision decides the destiny of the people in your professional life. Your social decision decides destiny of the people around you in the society. Hence, you must be very careful while making your decisions. You must be more careful while making your professional and social decisions.  To conclude, get the authentic information from multiple sources, think logically and analytically, foresee the pros and cons of your decisions, execute it effectively; take feedback to improve your decision making skills.  Remember, all decisions don’t go well as some are bound to fail. It all depends on your time and timing.  Good luck to your successful decision-making!

"Never make an important decision while you are feeling emotional; either too happy, surprised, or angry. Similarly, never make a big decision until you have talked it over with people you trust who are knowledgeable about the matter. Then, be decisive once you have heard them out." ―Andrés Gluski - President and CEO—The AES Corporation

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Professor M.S.Rao, India
Founder of MSR Leadership Consultants India
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  1. Great post on decision making.

  2. Your ideas and insights on decision-making are truly amazing