November 21st, 2016 by Patricia Jehle Leave a reply »

Thoughts from “the Best” Decisions


Forbes has a book out called The Greatest Business Decisions of all Time and last week I read it in one sitting. One of my best take-aways from the book is the idea that the best decisions are often counter intuitive and go against popular convention. The example Jim Collins gave in the forward that I want to highlight here is that in good companies there is real debate and no “yes-man”isms.


People are your most important Assets

Here are two other non-status quo decisions from the introduction by Verne Harnish: That of Henry Ford doubling the salary of his workers to show the employees (and the world) that they were valuable company assets AND That of bringing Steve Jobs back to Apple, which led to the company becoming one of the most valuable companies in the world. Do consider the value of your people and remember they are your real assets.


Questioning and debate make you, your ideas, and your company better

I grew up in the era when my friends at college wore those buttons that said “question authority”. Well, we should. It’s okay to question because if the “authorities” are correct in their assumptions, then what is to worry? If the assumptions are false (and of course, as a coach I have a list of these kinds of false assumptions), then they should be challenged for optimization and betterment. Surrounding yourself with people who only agree with you can be extremely dangerous. Therefore, gather around you trusted confidants who will respectfully question your assumptions and methods and so help you to grow and produce quality products and services.


People are key

Your people will have the answers, even if you don’t. Remember that! This postulate can even go for the informal “teams” that solo-preneurs develop. When you show your people how much you value them, they are motivated to give you their best, even when that is a difficult challenge. We humans are wired to want to work and to find (at least part of) our meaning in our work. Thus, as leaders we need to show appreciation to our employees in many ways, and pay is especially meaningful for most people. Also, remember that even if they have failed, those people might be “just the right fit” for the next big idea. Steve Jobs is a very good example of that. Had Apple not taken him back on board, the company would have never become what it is today. Period. So, remember that failure is really not failure the way we think it is, and that people are learning beings so failure can really be a step in the direction of success.


A Caveat

One of the most counterintuitive decisions Jobs made once he returned to Apple was to spend two weeks evaluating and refocusing each year. That time of reflection led to many new products and ideas to move Apple forward. As busy people we often don’t feel we can take that time to think and reflect, but the solution to our issues may be found in that time away from the daily grind, perhaps even with others. Perhaps not. Masterminds may be solution, but a reflective retreat first might help better formulate the issues to bring to the Mastermind table.


Concluding ideas: be aware of the “right way” and ask questions

Don’t always do what everyone else is doing. To be sure of your direction you must periodically reflect on it. Be aware of the counterintuitive solutions and consider them, too, as that “secret sauce” may be found there.


Have a very successful week! And if you like, you are invited to join my group on LinkedIn:


Patricia Jehle


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