Entrepreneurs must have a diverse skill set to drive growth in their business, and one of the most important skills that leaders can have is the ability to choose decisively. Decision-making skills can make or break an organization, which is why it is critical for business owners and decision-makers to refine their abilities to make wise and informed choices for the sake of their company.
Mark Kelly, Safety Marking Inc.’s Founder and President, can attest to the reality of how vital decision-making is for any company leader. Mr. Kelly has been making important decisions for Safety Marking for the past 48 years. Fortunately, Mark Kelly learned how to become an effective decision-maker to further develop his small, family-owned pavement striping business into a company that offers eight major types of services with offices in three states, including Connecticut, Rhode Island, and New York. Below, Mark Kelly shares from personal experience seven key ways to make more intelligent business decisions.
1.Know the Mission
Any business decision should cater to the company’s mission, and its mission should help lead those decisions. It is crucial for any business leader to know and state its mission for moments of reflection during tough decisions. For example, when faced with a decision that impacts the company, Mark Kelly considers the Safety Marking’s mission: “To ensure the safest work environment, using a technically advanced fleet, to provide superior workmanship and unparalleled service delivered by the most well-trained workforce.”
2.Prioritize for the Organization
Smart decision-making should be a priority with every organization. If a decision is made without the organization’s best interest in mind, it is most likely not the best business decision. Good leadership is about thinking of the whole organization while considering the needs of the individuals within it.
Intelligent business decisions involve more than a feeling or a lucky guess. Often, to reach a complete understanding, research is done, and data is collected. To ensure good decision-making, always gather evidence and frequently circle back to the objective.
A successful rhythm can be found through strategic planning, leading to repetitive, intelligent business decisions. Strategic planning is more than simply planning for a single decision. Rather, it is the intentional effort to look ahead, considering as much as possible regarding threats, risks, and opportunities and then imagining what three, five, even ten years ahead will present.
5.Think First, Then Act
High-stress moments or crises can put pressure on a decision-maker to make snap decisions. Very often snap decisions can be detrimental to a company. Business leaders need to develop the ability to recognize their feelings, and then set them aside and think logically, then act.
6.Include Necessary Talent
Business decisions do not always need to involve others on staff. However, smart business executives realize that there is talent on their team that can offer valuable insight that often leads to smarter overall decision-making.
7.Learn from Mistakes
Mistakes can quickly become failures if business leaders do not learn from them. Learning how to become a more innovative business decision-maker is part of the journey.
“Making smarter business decisions is a process and one that should be crafted, not rushed. Great business decisions are made by those who think strategically and can see the end goal. With experience comes wisdom and ultimately better decision making,” summarized Mark Kelly, Safety Marking President.
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