Decision Making

15
May

Managing Discomfort is the Key to Success

It is human nature to aspire to greater things. The United States was conceived and built on that principle. Sadly, some of these aspirations are thwarted by circumstances and environment. More often than not, however, we thwart our own aspirations out of poorly informed beliefs. We listen to what others tell us without verifying the accuracy. We follow the rules

Read more

25
Mar

A Newsboy’s Lament

When I was a kid, I had a job that no longer exists – a paper route. I had 150 customers. Every afternoon, I would get out of school and rush to a house two blocks away, where I would pick up 150 papers from the local distributor. I would fold them, stack them in a wagon with high slatted sides

Read more

13
Mar

Five Secrets to Navigating Corporate Bureaucracy

Ever had a great solution to a problem you’re dealing with only to find out that there’s a policy that forbids it? How about a practice that is embedded in the corporate culture, but seems to conflict with other practices? Join the club. We all face situations like these. In most cases there was probably a clear reason why the

Read more

6
Mar

Here’s Why Listening Results in Better Decisions

It is said that President Franklin Roosevelt became convinced that most people were so excited to meet him in person that they really didn’t pay attention to what he said. So he tried an experiment. As he greeted guests during a White House reception, he smiled and said to each of them quietly, “I murdered my grandmother yesterday afternoon.” As

Read more

27
Feb

How a Top Leader Organizes Her Time

Recently, I had the opportunity to interview Laurie, the chief operating officer for an organization of 12,000 people. While time management wasn’t our topic, she began to describe how she works as a part of our conversation. “I divide my days into 15 minute chunks,” she said. “I typically work from 8AM to 6PM everyday, so I have 40 chunks

Read more

13
Feb

How Presence of Mind Adds to the Bottom Line

My wife and I just spent a wonderful week in Hawaii, a chance to relax and reflect. Of course, my mind is never far from the topic of decision making. The first night we were there, Wendy discovered the clothes iron in our room wasn’t working. She called the hotel’s front desk to ask for a replacement. Five minutes later,

Read more

25
Jan

Stop Multi-tasking and Boost Your Productivity

Juliette thinks she’s a master at multi-tasking. She responds to e-mails, checks Facebook, talks with passing colleagues and does her “real work” all at the same time. But she’s exhausted by the end of the day. She woke up twice last night remembering she forgot to submit a report. She almost caused an accident texting her boss about a customer

Read more

3
Jan

The Essential Secret to Good Judgment

I visited with a senior leader from a Fortune 100 company last month. At one point, he said, “My dad used to say, ‘Good judgment comes from experience. Experience comes from bad judgment.’” While I was amused by his simple characterization, it dawned on me that this glib little insight contains the essence of why some people are better decision

Read more

21
Dec

Systemize Decisions to Boost Performance

Dr. Daniel Levitin, writing in his book The Organized Mind, discusses the behaviors of what he call HSPs, or Highly Successful People. One characteristic these individuals share is their practice of implementing systems that save time and improve their personal performance. Top salespeople, for instance, learn that if they can respond effectively to the ten most common customer objections, their

Read more

26
Nov

Are You Industrializing the Coffee Cake?

One of my small indulgences is the coffee cake at Starbucks. I’ve always loved digging into it with a fork and feeling its moistness in my mouth. Up until recently, it’s been served on a plate. They’d even heat it up for you if you asked. While I was waiting to order, I’d stare at the pieces in the display

Read more