Decisions, Decisions

For most people, decisions are the hardest part of management. In the end, though, they’re why you collect a paycheck. Unfortunately, good decisions often come only after years of bad ones (either your own or someone else’s), when you’ve finally collected enough experience to have some idea of what you’re doing.

There are a lot of unnecessary civilian casualties between here and there. Work Iz War is meant to help you avoid at least some of that by giving you the benefit of others’ experience. Think of it as mentoring on the cheap.

There is a cardinal law of business decisions that supercedes all others. If you remember nothing else that you read here, remember this: Do it now.

I know it’s hard. I know you’re insecure about it. I know you feel like a deer caught in a truck’s headlights. Suck it up! If you can’t make decisions, you’re not a manager. At best, you’re an overpaid babysitter. Also, you can’t wait. Here’s why:

Hey, did you know that your roof is leaking? That’s what a decision that hasn’t been made yet is, a leaky roof. So you bravely climb up on the roof in the snow, take a look at the hole, and it’s not too bad, so you call around to a couple of roofing contractors. Their bids are more than you expected (when are they not?), but you have enough to cover it. The thing is, your car needs new tires pretty soon and you want to go out Saturday and the hole isn’t really all that bad.

So you wait. Until spring.

When spring comes, you call the contractor that bid the lowest in December, and he comes out to re-bid, only something’s wrong. The new bid is three times what it was in December, and it’s a lot longer. When you ask the contractor, he says you should have had him fix the hole in December, before the leak allowed water to rot the roof joists and part of your bedroom ceiling, both of which now have to be replaced.

The lesson: Anything that you don’t do now will cost 3 times as much later.

This lesson also applies to firing an employee who is not doing their job, is working against you, or who was just a bad hire (these happen to the best of us).

Do it now. Don’t wait. Or be prepared to pay and pay and pay.

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