Every day, executives make countless decisions about myriad mundane things with little to no thought. It’s the big decisions over which we lose sleep. Is it a good time to acquire a struggling competitor? Should we open another office? How much should we invest in technology? Inside each of these major decisions are hundreds of mini-decisions that need to be made along the way. A business succeeds or fails based on the decisions made by its leaders and how well these leaders translate decisions into action.
Important decisions need not be made in a vacuum. Sometimes, we need to react to events or conditions that leave us little time to consider our options, but as decisions grow in importance, we should take time to consider multiple aspects of the decision and weigh our alternatives. We should seek out the opinions of others, and then incorporate their expertise and perspectives on the topic. We can consult peers, both inside and outside our organizations, whom we respect and trust. We can listen to alternative points of view and expose ourselves to different perspectives and opinions—not only to better understand the implications of the immediate decision but also to gather valuable insights from others who have traveled a similar path.
Dynamic decision-making is part of life, but for the CEO, making decisions is their job. Where should we invest? How can we grow? Who should we hire? When should we expand? What should we develop next? It’s the neverending cascade of decisions the CEO makes every day, big and small, tactical and strategic, that guides the business forward. It’s the big bets–the go-all-in decisions–that determine the future of the business and all the people who work in it and on it. It is these major decisions that ultimately define the CEO and their career.