Making decisions is hard, and no one knows this better than people at the top. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg even wears the same outfit every day to avoid “decision fatigue.” These nine bosses and advisors in The Oracles let us in on how they make choices without regret.
1. Stop thinking decisions are “big.”
“In my new book, Game Changers, I talk about the important process of decision-making. Adults make 34,997 unconscious and conscious decisions in an average day. That’s a decision every two seconds! Imagine if you could streamline the process and relieve your brain of just 1 percent of those decisions.
First, remove the idea that a decision is ‘big.’ Why add the pressure? Become present to your basic daily routines like breakfast, choosing an outfit, and your route to work. Then you can automate them in your day-to-day. That’s game changing. ”
2. Choose the right people.
“My biggest choices are deciding whom I surround myself with, including business partners, employees, and friends. I ask myself a few simple questions: Do I like and trust them? I have to feel right about someone, which is a gut decision.
If it’s a business associate, I assess how smart and loyal they are. Smart people push you and create opportunity. Loyalty matters because you don’t want to lose good people. For friends, I ask myself whether they’re big-hearted. Big-hearted people are generous and empathetic, and they have your back. These questions have never led me astray. ”
3. Stick to your mission and your gut.
When I make a big decision, I go first to the people who will be impacted the most, either negatively or positively. Then I go to my trusted advisors — my wife, team, father, children, assistant, board, and best friends. Ultimately, it comes down to whether it agrees with my mission and my gut.
4. Decide quickly.
“I focus on speed of implementation. Even if you make the wrong decision, you can always course correct. But if you don’t make a decision and your competitor does, you lose.
Then I consider the best way to accomplish my mission. Put aside your emotions, which can taint your judgment. Focus strictly on whether the decision will create the outcome you want. If the answer is yes, execute. ”
5. Look for opportunity in uncertainty.
“While many contemplate numbers on the scale, I study market conditions and consumer trends. For instance, the U.S. real estate market is experiencing a shift and consumers are uncertain how this will affect their ability to buy and sell; but I believe where there is uncertainty there is an opportunity. The opportunity lies in experience, and in equal parts insight and foresight.
If you are launching a new product or expanding, know that growth in a shifting market is not for the faint of heart. And no matter how passionate you are about your growth plan, to stay focused you must commit to rest and recovery. Get sleep, stay hydrated, and eliminate as many choices as possible. ”
—Eileen Rivera, CEO of The Rivera Group in Southern California; business coach, speaker, and angel investor
6. Take time to reflect.
“When I started my first venture fund years ago, I quickly realized I was in over my head. So I prayed and reflected. Minutes later, I was invited to present the fund at a conference, where I made a great friend and business partner. He gave me some tough advice that completely changed my focus, and listening to him was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.
In defining moments, I always seek God’s wisdom. Even if you don’t pray, take time to reflect and meditate. Step outside the material world and seek a simple approach and solution. ”
—Thomas Carter, founder and CEO of DealBox, Inc; read about Thomas: ”This FinTech Veteran Is Making Cryptocurrency Startup Funding Legitimate ”; connect on LinkedIn and Instagram
7. Consider the extremes.
“Emotion is the enemy of big decisions, so dive deep and collect as many facts as you can. Then consider your options from one extreme to the other. For example, ‘On the one hand, I could lose everything. On the other, this might make me a billionaire.’ The decision usually makes itself.”
8. Test, invest, and scale.
”‘It is in your moments of decision that your destiny is shaped.’ When I heard this Tony Robbins quote I realized that every decision, big or small, could transform my life. Since then, I’ve used the ‘test and invest’ approach to decision-making. I test my hypothesis quickly, which gives me clues to how my decision will go if I decide to invest more resources.”
—Sharran Srivatsaa, angel investor and CEO of Kingston Lane, a push-button technology execution platform for real estate; grew Teles Properties 10X to $3.6 billion in five years; follow Sharran on Instagram
“My mentor once told me, ‘There are no complicated problems — only complicated thinking.’ When faced with a big decision, I simplify it to the two most important things in my life: my relationships with God and people. Then I prayerfully consider my options with them in mind.
Reflecting on my purpose, values, and priorities always brings me clarity. When I reflect on what kind of wife, mother, employer, and friend I want to be, decisions become easier. The question is no longer, ‘What should I do?’ but ‘Who do I want to become?’”
Originally published at CNBC Make It.
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