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本文为与《创业者》杂志的合作内容。下文最初发表于Entrepreneur.com。

任何岗位的领导者都必须像激光那样聚焦,充分认识问题,并且愿意在面临不确定性时“拨动指针”。在某些情况下,领导者必须在瞬间做出一项可能影响深远的决定。

但问题在于,并非每一位领导者都愿意做出这样的决定,因为他们担心自己的决定被视为“错误”。他们认为,一旦做出某项决定,它就不可逆转,无休无止。未来不可能再进行调整,或者更糟糕的是,他们会因为自己的一时决断而被公司解雇。

这种想法有错吗?大错特错。做出下一个重要决策时,你应该对照以下五项标准:

1. 决策的目的

军队中一直存在严格的工作优先顺序,所有决策均以此为基础。任务始终排在第一位,之后是符合团队利益的决定,最后才是与个人利益有关的决定。个人要放在最后,是因为在组织链中,个人永远是最小的环节。利己主义没有太大意义,在团队或组织中不应该考虑个人得失。

2. 错误绝非永恒不变

用“绝非”这个词或许有些过头,但你应该能明白我的意思。我之前曾说过,失败只是取决于你何时选择停止,同样也取决于人们如何看待具体问 题。例如,在某个级别的人看来有些棘手的问题,在另一个级别的人眼中却未必是亟需解决的问题。尽可能收集更多观点,更加深入地理解具体情况。

3. 执行的时间线

内部和外部影响,会决定在给定的时间线内执行决策的可行性。内部影响是指你和团队在给定的时间内执行决策的能力,外部影响则是指影响最终期限的推动力,并且这些因素超出了你的控制范围,例如天气、经济或市场需求等。

你要问自己两个问题。第一个问题是,“现在是做出决定的正确时机吗?”如果答案是肯定的,再问第二个问题:“我能执行这项决策吗?”如果答案是否定的,要搞清“为什么?”

4. 已知的未知和未知的未知

执行决策时,你会面临许多限制。

“已知的未知”是指你意识到一些无形限制的存在,但你无法进行具体量化,例如交通(如果你住在洛杉矶,你肯定知道我在说什么)。例如,你清 楚洛杉矶的交通高峰时间从来都没有结束的时候,所以,你从A点到B点需要花的时间可能在20分钟到2个小时之间。关键在于,你清楚不确定性的存在,却不清 楚这种不确定性的具体程度。

根据墨菲定律,“未知的未知”就是你根本没有计划到的意外事件,比如(继续以交通为例)交通事故或发动机故障。

尽量明确所有限制因素,这样你就知道如何让它们有利于实现决策目的。

5. 资源的可用性

如果你最初没能成功,要不断尝试。每一次努力的结果很大程度上取决你执行计划所使用的资源,所以不仅要确定可用的主要资源,还要确定次要资源。每一项决策都应该制定一项应对 “未知的未知”和主要行动方案失败等情形的应急方案。

如果准备不充分,你会被决策过程击垮。处理下一个两难境地时,考虑一下本文提及的几项指标,或许会让你对自己的决策更有信心。(财富中文网)

译者:刘进龙/汪皓

审校:任文科

This post is in partnership with Entrepreneur. The article below was originally published atEntrepreneur.com.

Leadership in any capacity requires a laser-like focus, complete awareness of the problem set, and a willingness to “move the needle” when faced with uncertainty. Leaders must, at any point, be willing to make a split-second decision with potentially long-lasting and profound impacts.

The challenge, though, is that not every leader is willing to make such decisions for fear of it being considered “wrong.” They think that once a decision is made it is interminable and irreversible, and that adapting down the road isn’t an option or, even worse, they’ll be fired for being decisive.

What’s wrong with this notion? Plenty. Here are five criteria to consider when making your next big decision:

1. The purpose of the decision

In the military, there was (and still is) a pecking order of priority upon which decisions are based. The mission always came first, followed by what would serve the team, and finally, what would serve the individual. The individual always comes last because he or she was always the smallest link in the organizational chain. Playing to self-interest serves little purpose, and that’s not what a team or an organization is about.

2. Wrong is never permanent

Well, “never” is a strong word, but you get the idea. I’ve said before thatfailure is only determined by where you choose to stop, and it also depends on how that particular problem is perceived. The higher one ascends within an organization . For example, the same problem that appears tricky at one level may not necessarily be the right one to solve for at another. Seek as many viewpoints as you can to enhance your understanding of the situation.

3. Timeline to execution

There are internal and external influences that shape the feasibility of execution along a given timeline. Internal influences refer to the competency of you and your team to execute the decision in the time allotted, whereas external influences signify the driving forces that impact the deadline that you have no control over, such as weather, the economy or market demand.

You want to ask yourself two questions. First, “Is now the right time to decide?” If the answer is yes, then your next question is, “Am I capable of executing the decision?” If the answer is no then ask “why?”

4. Known unknowns and unknown unknowns

These are the constraints surrounding the execution of your decisions.

A known unknown is when you realize a specific intangible exists but can’t quantify how much, such as traffic (if you live in Los Angeles you know exactly what I’m talking about). For instance, you’re aware that rush hour in LA never really has an end point, so it could take you anwhere from 20 minutes to two hours to travel from A to B. The point is, you know that uncertainty exists but don’t know how much.

Unknown unknowns are when Murphy likes to throw another wrench in the mix that you simply can’t plan for, such as (continuing with the traffic example) a vehicle accident or engine breakdown.

Try to identify all constraints as best you can so you know how to align them towards the purpose of your decision.

5. Resource accessibility

If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. The result of any effort will depend in part on the resources used to execute it, so be sure to identify not only the primary resources available but also secondary ones, too. Every decision should have a contingency plan for when those unknown unknowns arise and deem your primary course of action obsolete.

Decision-making can paralyze you if you’re not prepared. Tackle your next major dilemma using the aforementioned considerations and feel better about the decisions you come to.


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