The less decisions you make, the less skill you will have at making decisions.  This is a plain and simple fact. 

 

On the other hand, the more decisions you have to make, the better you get at it.  The faster you get at doing it, the greater your confidence becomes.

 

Confidence is a key ingredient in making decisions.usmc-image-2

 

If you have ever been caught in rifle fire from the enemy, then making or not making this week’s payroll is not that stressful.

If your buddy’s life hangs on your decisions in the next 3 minutes, then laying off an employee seems so much less in comparison.

If you are pulling a person out of a car wreck and your decisions affect whether they have permanent damage or not, then dealing with a deadline on a software project seems so much less stressful.

 

If you have had to make the tough decisions, then some of the stuff that drives others crazy may seem like nothing to you when it comes to making decisions.

 

You create the pressure – you deflate it as well.

 

 

I joined the USMC at the ripe young age of 17.  Four days out of high school graduation.  Crazy, but I made a decision to move forward, and as you have read in this book so far, decision-making will move you forward.  So forward I moved.

 

Marines prepare for combat.  Unlike the other branches of the service where you do what you are trained to and that is all you do, Marines are always considered “0300” grunts first.  That simply means that no matter what your specialty or training, you are still first and above all else an infantryman.  This means that no matter what you are doing today, tomorrow you could be out as part of a squad on patrol in a combat zone with a rifle and backpack and your life on the line.

 

Thus, making decisions is one of the most critical skills you must learn as a USMC.

 

When I was stressing over not having time to get the General’s report out on time, I thought it was tough, until I had to make a decision to either jump down 40 feet or get shot at.

 

Decision-making depends on where you are and where you have been.

 

 usmc-image-1

 

Combat is a tough situation that requires you to be ready to make quick decisions that can affect not just your life, but also the lives of your fellow men and women.  Thus, you must always be both physically and mentally prepared.

 

The physical part is tough, but usually easier than the mental aspect.

 

As we have discussed in the past, decision-making is about being able to take the information you have and make the best decision you can, in the time you have.  Period.

 

When you have to make a decision under pressure it adds another roadblock to the decision-making process.

 

Many already have a tough time with making decisions and now you want me to make that decision under pressure?  Please!

 

Making decisions under pressure adds that ingredient that so many of us just do not want to even deal with.  It is bad enough you want me to make a decision, but now you are turning up the heat.

 

In your business and life, this can and does happen usually more than you like.

 

Even when you prepare and do all you can to avoid the situation, you can still end up face to face with making the decision under pressure.

 

How do you handle it in the best way possible?

 

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Let’s look at a couple of examples of business pressure and see what we can do to better handle the situation.

 

Your payroll is due Friday, in 3 days, and you do not have the funds and do not anticipate having them to meet the payroll for your team.  Your payroll is $50,000 and you only have $32,000 available.  What do you do?

 

This is a pressure that many of us business owners have experienced at one time or another.   The numbers are here only for making the example clearer.  It could be $2000 to 2 million.  The pressure is still the pressure.

 

First you have to move the pressure away. 

You do this by understanding that Friday is going to come no matter what you do.  Whether you have the money or not, it is going to come.  You cannot stop it. 

 

Then take time and think about those tough decisions you have made in the past, and how you handled them effectively or infectively.  Think about the fact that you are here today.  If you made the right decision, it worked out and you made it.  If you made the wrong decision, well, you are still here. 

 

Second, you must come up with the money. 

First you have to get creative, think, get help.  Whatever it takes, you have to do it and you will find the money.  Believe that and move forward with that thought.

 

Third, if you think negatively, you are not going to find the answer. 

If you listen to those who think negatively you will not find the answer.  Remember, you are the one who has to solve this.   Many people just live in the negative and then wonder why they have been unable to move forward.  Think positive, and also take positive action.

 

There’s a great story in the Bible about a fellow named Job.  All his friends had the answers, but none of them were correct.  They were all negative.  This meant it was still on his shoulders.  What are you going to do to find the answer?

 

That’s it for today. Come back next week to find out the answer to this story and two more.

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