Chapter 20A Blueprint for Making the Tough Calls

The Challenge

In visiting with thousands of leaders in dozens of industries over the past two decades, one thing is clear: The people who are expected to make fast and tough decisions are rarely trained how to do so. As a result, they wrongly make costly gut decisions, or indecision prevails in areas that end up costing the organization plenty. Although there is not a one-size-fits-all mechanism for making tough decisions, attendees to my workshops have found it useful when I present a series of filters to help them assess tough situations realistically and make the tough calls necessary for the organization to move forward faster.

Three Key Filters to Improve Your Decision Making

Although there is not space for all the decision-making scenarios I generally provide in a seminar setting, the following three filters have wide applicability and should help you to reassess and act immediately on areas you've been pondering. Some of these filters apply strictly to personnel assessment, and others address strategies, policies, and more.

The Hope versus Wish Filter: Are You Hoping or Wishing for Improvement?

Wondering just how much longer to work with an underperforming person, strategy, policy, vendor, and the like can immobilize you. This filter may help clear it up for you.

Hope is defined as “grounds for believing something in the future will occur” (, n.d.). In other words, you could take the case to court and ...

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