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When It Comes To Decision Making, Aim For Forward Progress Over Perfection
As a growing leader in your organization, you want to make good decisions; however, you do not want to seek perfection in your decisions. When you strive for perfection, it sets you up for failure because business situations and market dynamics constantly change.
By making decisions that prioritize progress over perfection, you continuously add value and consistently deliver successful outcomes over time. You’re better enabled to achieve small wins, check in to assess what’s changed since your last win, and adjust your plans to continuously progress. By comparison, mistakenly focusing on achieving perfection results in slow momentum, lingering gaps in low-priority elusive detail, and constant underachievement, because perfection doesn’t really exist.
Making decisions that prioritize progress over perfection can be difficult and sometime feel uncomfortable. However, using these tips will ease the anxiety that often comes with driving progress over perfection.
Expect Limited Information
In an ideal situation, you have all of the facts before you make a decision. Unfortunately, you are more likely to face decisions with limited information. You do not always know every detail before you must make a decision. It’s important to realize you will not have every detail about a situation before you must make a decision as a leader. Expect a few unknown factors. Expecting limited information helps reduce your anxiety and allows you to keep moving forward. Instead of searching for every detail, focus on a few key points so that you make the best decision with the limited information available.
Ask for Advice
A good leader does not shy away from asking for help or advice. A simple way to eliminate concerns about your limited knowledge in a particular area is through advice and conversation. Ask for the opinions and ideas of others. Get a few different perspectives on a project or a situation so that you have a broader view. Many times others have experienced a similar situation and can provide perspective to close information gaps. Asking for advice and gaining information from others allows you to make better decisions because you clarify your thinking and increase the information available.
Stay Close to The Decisions You Make
As a growing leader, you’ll gain experience from each decision you make, but that does not mean you will never make mistakes. Errors occur in any situation or decision. You cannot expect that your decisions are right in every situation. The key to improving your decision-making skills and your abilities is staying close to your decisions. By following through and staying close, you have the opportunity to correct errors and change course when necessary. Use your decisions as a stepping stone so that you evaluate and check on the progress of a project without dwelling on the mistakes. Instead, make changes when you notice a mistake and avoid panicking when an error occurs.
The best way to drive your projects forward and propel successful outcomes is through progress rather than perfection. Adjust your expectations, even when a decision seems difficult, so that you get the best results when you make a decision. Expect that your knowledge is limited and ask advice from others so that you make an appropriate decision. After making a choice, follow through and stay close to the decision so that you can correct mistakes and continue forward.
Ask Yourself These Questions
- Am I aiming for progress over perfection in my decisions?
- What information can I best rely on to aid my decision making?
- What should I change in my approach to achieve continuous progress?
- Who are the right people to ask for perspective or advice?
- What can I do to be disciplined about staying close to my decisions?
About John Fildes
I grow the bottom line by connecting marketing to business strategy. By leveraging powerful positioning, content marketing, and client insights, I help CEOs drive qualitative and quantitative results at scale.
I've built an amazing network of incredibly talented people over the years. What I've appreciated most is those who have invested in me, mentored me, and helped me become the talented professional I am today. I pay it forward by doing the same for other high performing professionals and entrepreneurs.
All views are my own and not those of my current or prior employers.