How to Make the Right Call in Any Situation
When you're Richard Branson, the founder of Virgin Group, you probably know a thing or two about making the right call under pressure. Considering his first business venture was at the young age of 16, Branson is what you might call a natural. But making sound business (and life!) decisions is a skill that, according to a recent article penned by Branson on LinkedIn, can be honed. Read on for a better understanding of what Branson believes to be the secret to getting it right.
“In times of turmoil, excitement, rapid growth, or crisis, there will be more decisions to make than usual and less time to make them," Branson writes. "There will also be an almost irresistible temptation to make these decisions as quickly as possible." Branson encourages us to be calm, confident, and in control during these times. This can be achieved by knowing when to pause and take a step back in order to assess the entire situation. “Even when we think we know all of the facts and figures, and have viewed every angle of a given scenario, the truth about a situation can be a big surprise."
No matter what, challenge yourself to take a beat and hold out on any sweeping judgments before you know all the details. “There have been many occasions when I have been tempted to make a snap decision and decided to wait until I can see the whole picture more clearly," Branson says. Of course, such a delay might mean a missed opportunity—Branson readily admits this (uh, turns out he may have had the chance to buy the rights to a then little-known game called Trivial Pursuit). "But for every missed opening, there have been several averted disasters," he assures us.
We live in a time where numbers and metrics are given more importance than ever. According to Branson, “While facts and figures are extremely useful, data analysis shouldn’t solely drive every decision." So what does he prefer? "One vital component of decision-making that is often overlooked is quiet contemplation. After looking at all the stats, speaking to all the experts and analysing all of the angles, take some time to yourself to think things through clearly. Take a walk, find a shady spot, or simply sit and think for a while. Don’t delay unnecessarily—but don’t rush either. Get that balance right, and you are far more likely to make the right call.”
Opener photo via Lisa Wiseman.
Visit LinkedIn to read the entirety of Richard Branson's entry on delaying judgment in order to make better decisions.
What do you think about this advice? Share your thoughts in the comments!