We all have to take tough decisions in life!
I guess none of us can turn away from it when facing the unfair facts one day. I myself once decided to avoid a lawsuit after something had gone wrong during a surgery, from my point of view. After a little research I was told the doctor had to believe that “this” was the case – but then, it wasn´t. But my nerves were stretched to a maximum back then, so why add more to it? The faulty result was irreversible anyway.
In his blog-post from Oct, 8th 2014, Richard Feloni from the Business Insider writes about why Sir Richard Branson went for a lawsuit, challenging the West Coast Rail Franchise in the U.K. and FirstGroup, concerning a lost “bid”. The result FirstGroup delivered seemed unfair to Sir Richard Branson and after weighing the facts, he went against the result which stated he had lost the bid for Virgin Rail.
What happened? A miscalculation by the Department for Transport was suddenly announced. Branson decided to sue the Government and today calls it his best high-stakes decision ever in his book “The Virgin Way: Everything I Know About Leadership”.
And this is the take-away for his readers:
- Don´t act on an emotional response: if you lose a great business, settle down first, collect data and do the math. Never do a statement out of frustration, especially not to the press.
- Find as many downsides to an idea as possible: consider everything that could go wrong before making a tough decision. Also, uncover hidden facts from the competitor, if they´re there. (BTW: the downsides Branson talks about in his book are part of the 8 components of smart decision making)
- Look at the big picture: Branson checks the consequenes for his other projects when taking a tough decision, both long- and short-termly. What´s the risk to put it on hold? What´s the risks when doing it? If you cannot manage this project now what is in the waiting line?
- Protect the downside: limit the possible losses before moving forward with a new business venture! It was his dad´s advice. His dad allowed him to leave high school and start Student magazine only if he sold 4,000 pounds´ worth of advertising to cover printing and paper costs. Branson repeated this strategy when he started Virgin Atlantic, his airline. He negotiated that Boeing would take back the one 747 aircraft after 1 year if the biz wasn´t operating as planned.
Now, you can make these 4 guidelines your habit, no matter whether you approach a prospective client or think about suing the Government when facts aren´t clear and fair negotiated.
BE A DECISION MAKER. BECOME OUTSTANDING.
rita jaskolla – Leadership Architect –