Better Decisions Faster—How to Help Your Executive Team Master the Decision-Making Process



I believe good business is just a series of good choices strategically and effectively implemented.

In this episode, I’ll show you how to help your executive team make better decisions faster.

  • If you’re the kind of leader who is frustrated because your people come to you with half-baked recommendations, and the person with the idea has essentially “delegated up” the work curating information so a solid decision can be made, you’ll be doing some backflips after today’s episode, because I’m going to give you back hours of time each week.
  • If you have people who walk into your office with a “got a minute,” and your day is chewed up with people who want to shoot the breeze on concepts (and you just don’t have enough time for these “only mildly” productive interruptions), you’re in for a treat. Stick tight—you may just be able to go home at a decent hour.
  • Then again, if your people are extremely good at decisions and they bring you and your team a process that helps you make decisions quickly and effectively, you’ll love to hear how you can take it up another notch.

EVERY organization is facing these challenges to effective decisions in less time.

I’m now going to give you three steps that will help you get your team “owning” how they recommend and decide on key decisions better and faster.

Step 1: Stop the “death by meeting” approach where your team members bring things into the team as “concepts” and want to “chat” about them. Make sure that each person writes up their presentation with all the facts so that all you do in meetings is to make the decision.

Step 2: Make sure your team is applying critical thinking when they present a solution. After all, you can find someone on to research less than the cost of a decent lunch. You’re paying your people for their thinking. Demand that they deliver.

Often, people don’t explain the history, or the impact, or the things that will get disturbed by the decision. If all heck’s going to break loose when you implement the idea, you want to know BEFORE you make the decision!

They need to be taught HOW to think through an issue, so they address it. I’ll never forget serving on a board where the write-ups that were decided on often lacked the RIGHT supporting info. I remember the board stumbling around, trying to decide by guessing because a decision was due. The retractions were embarrassing AND EXTREMELY costly — hard lesson.

Step 3: Once your key people are trained on this decision-making process, don’t allow anything in front of the team that doesn’t follow the process. If you do, things will get sloppy, and you’ll find yourself right back in the thick of “death by meeting.” It just keeps coming back unless you take action to make sure it can’t.

The person making the recommendation MUST sign it and put their butt on the line for what they recommend instead of delegating up the decision with an “I don’t know, what do YOU think we should do?”

Three steps:

  1. Stop the “let’s discuss ad nauseam” pattern.
  2. Then, create a powerful template of what is expected in that write up.
  3. And lastly, don’t allow the sloppy patterns to sneak back in and waste your executives’ and board’s time.

By nailing the executive decision-making process, the percentage of optimal decisions goes up substantially and reignites the joy of being an executive by stomping out the spinning in circles that chews up expensive executive time. Don’t go far. My next episode is something I haven’t shared before and will REALLY boost results quickly. See you then.


One response on “Better Decisions Faster—How to Help Your Executive Team Master the Decision-Making Process

  1. Jeff Laudermilk

    Dear Roxanne, Thanks for another great way to improve our processes. I’ve been working on this process of improved decision making, but the results are not great so far, and I think that’s mostly my responsibility. That template you refer to – do you have any examples? I’m especially interested in trying to do better with the “delegating up” phenomenon you mentioned. We are in a “rebuilding phase” with a wave of managers retiring soon, and this terrific opportunity to bring new people up to the management team demands that we do things more effectively. Your guidance is greatly appreciated!

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