To avoid this vicious cycle, knowing when to say “enough is enough” is key. But as you and I both know, it’s not that simple, and I promised a solution. So, without further ado, here’s my one-of-a-kind, brought-to-you-exclusively-by-David-Avery-only solution that I’ve deduced from years of observing exceptional leaders and powerful executives make definitive decisions swiftly. I call it — drum roll, please — the decision-making curve. Here it is in two steps:
1. Establish the KPIs ahead of time
If you were driving from Los Angeles to New York City, would you just get in your car and start driving without ever whipping out a map and figuring out how what roads to take, when you need to sleep, when to fill up for gas, tolls, food, etc.? Of course not. But most of the time that’s exactly how we incorporate data into our decisions. We start talking about solutions and then justify them with data by asking: “And how will we know if this is successful?”
That seems like a good question, but it is far too open-ended and in a room of five people generally yields about six different answers. The best leaders have a success metric in mind before even hearing proposals. Is it ROI? Is it NPV? Is it Return on Invested Capital? Whatever it is, it is home base and it’s how they know they are on the right track.
Set your KPI(s) at the beginning of the decision-making process and keep moving forward. Establishing your path ahead of time ensures you don’t wander down a different one (or several different ones).