Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Principles of Decision Making

Over the years of working for Rich DeVos in the Magic organization, I have seen him make many bold, risky, multimillion-dollar decision. From watching him and talking to him in those moments of decision, I have identified eight principles Rich uses whenever he has a difficult decision to make.
These eight principles have made him one of the most effective and successful decision makers of all time:
1.Pray
Prayer is two-way communication, so talk to God and ask him for wisdom – then listen for his answer.
2.Define the Decision that Must be Made
Ask yourself: What am I trying to achieve with this decision? What is the problem that must be solved? What are my options? Avoid looking at the decision in either/or terms. There are often three or more options to any decision, so think creatively and expand your options.
3.Gather Information
Get as much information as possible – but don’t wait too long to decide. Avoid getting caught in “the paralysis of analysis.” Usually a good decision can be made with considerably less than 100 percent of the available information; 50 to 75 percent is usually sufficient.
4.Make a List of Pros and Cons
This will help you to think clearly and logically about the decision you must make.
5.Listen to Your Instincts and Intuition
This does not mean, “trust your feelings.” Feelings are never a good substitute for clear-eyed analysis. But most decisions are improved by listening to your intuition as well as your logic.
6.If Still Undecided, Consider Your Worst-Case Scenario
What is the worst thing that can happen if you decide this way or that way? Considering your worst-case scenario will help you identify the uncertainty and anxiety that keep you from deciding – and it will bring clarity to your thinking.
7.Seek Counsel from Trusted Advisors
Proverbs 11:14 (KJV) tells us, “In the multitude of counsellors there is safety.” Sometimes an outside perspective can bring clarity to the situation. You don’t have to take the advice of other people, but it is wise to listen and at least consider it.
8.Make a Decision
Don’t stall, don’t procrastinate – decide. Then act on your decision and trust the guidance God gave you in answer to your prayer.

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