I like some rules promulgated by Nick Jarrett-Kerr of Edge International in the firm’s latest Communique. Written for law firm managing partners, the advice holds true for general counsel.
“Rule 1: not many decisions are very important.
Rule 2: the most important decisions are often made by default.” [Jerrett-Kerr doesn’t write this but I urge my consulting clients to spend 80% of their time on the very few decisions that are likely to set in train the most important consequences.]
“Rule 3: for important decisions gather 80% of the data and perform 80% of the analyses in the first 20% of the time available, then make a decision 100% of the time and act as if you are 100% confident in the decision.” [I am less sure about the 100% confidence, since everyone knows that tough decisions are not black and white. Still, once a decision is made, it is best for everyone to be full-scale behind it.]
“Rule 4: if what you have decided isn’t working, change your mind earlier rather than later.”
Rule 5: when something is working well, double and redouble your efforts.”