How Do You Handle the Pressure of Making Far-Reaching Decisions?

How Do You Handle the Pressure of Making Far-Reaching Decisions?

Navigating the high-stakes world of corporate decision-making can be daunting, so we've gathered insights from CEOs and founders to share their strategies. From blending preparation with intuition to overcoming time and information obstacles, explore the diverse approaches in our comprehensive list of twenty-two expert responses on handling company-wide impactful decisions.

  • Blend Preparation With Intuition
  • Accept Imperfection in Decision-Making
  • Consult Experts and Consider Long-Term Impact
  • Customer-Centric Decision-Making Approach
  • Foster Open Culture for Diverse Perspectives
  • Strategic Foresight in Difficult Choices
  • Continuous Learning and Core Value Alignment
  • Thoroughly Think Through Problems
  • Democratic Decision-Making With Team
  • Collaborate With Trusted Business Partners
  • Inclusive and Balanced Decision Strategy
  • Invest in Advanced Cybersecurity Measures
  • Align Decisions With Long-Term Vision
  • Patience and Data in High-Stakes Decisions
  • Objectivity and Transparency in Leadership
  • Collaborate, Debate, and Remodel Solutions
  • Combine Data Analysis With Team Input
  • Base Decisions on Facts and Circumstances
  • Use Data-Driven Approach and Scenario Planning
  • Embrace Technological Advancements Proactively
  • Overcome Time and Information Obstacles
  • Preparation, Consultation, and Intuition Balance

Blend Preparation With Intuition

Handling the pressure of making far-reaching decisions comes down to a blend of preparation, intuition, and a solid support system. At Enleaf, we rely heavily on data-driven insights to guide our choices, ensuring they are grounded in reality. However, it's equally important to trust your instincts and experience. Surrounding myself with a talented team that shares a common vision allows for collaborative decision-making, which alleviates some of the pressure. Ultimately, staying focused on the long-term goals and remaining adaptable in the face of challenges helps navigate the complexities of decision-making in the fast-paced digital marketing world.

Adam ChronisterCEO, Enleaf

Accept Imperfection in Decision-Making

People are not afraid of making decisions; they are afraid of making wrong decisions. And decisions taken under pressure often tend to be wrong. My advice is don't try to be 100% perfect. I know I might sound weird to you, but trust me. When you try to be perfect and don't expect a tiny mistake, you can't make quick and right decisions.

I handle the pressure of making decisions with the thought, “I have done my best and I can handle a mistake.” This means I am ready to accept the fact that informed and wise decisions can also fail or have mistakes.

No one makes mistakes deliberately, so just relax. Research effectively, collect crucial information, and give your best to make the right decisions. Leave the rest of the things. Making mistakes is digestible when it is unexpected or appears out of nowhere. About 11 years ago, I began thinking this way, and since then, I have been able to make quick decisions even under pressure.

Saikat Ghosh
Saikat GhoshAssociate Director of HR & Business, Technource

Consult Experts and Consider Long-Term Impact

Far-reaching decisions will alter the course of a business for better or worse. For me, this means that all factors—terms, agreements, prices, and ideas—should be thoroughly considered and discussed, leaving nothing to chance and interpretation.

One of the things I have found that reduces pressure is if I consult with experts outside of our organization whom I can trust.

I considered five main questions when deciding to sell a portion of my business, and they can apply to most far-reaching decisions:

  1. Will this decision make the company more profitable?
  2. Will this decision make the company more valuable?
  3. Is this something I want to do?
  4. Do the financial terms make sense?
  5. What kind of effect will the decision have on the others that work with me?

After reviewing those answers with all the right people, we concluded the answer to be yes. It has been about a year since the decision was made, and we haven’t looked back.

Jeffrey Gabriel
Jeffrey GabrielCEO, Incorporated

Customer-Centric Decision-Making Approach

Decisions that consider the customer (because that is how we exist), the people on the team (because that is how we operate), and the company focusing on a quality product or service for the long term are best.

In our case, this includes everything from content in a training program to updating the logo and more. It also includes the mundane day-to-day operational decisions.

Currently, we are acting on a decision to build out an LMS system. This will serve the customer with ease of access and convenience. This will help the team because they can focus on their priorities. This makes sense for the company, ensuring consistency with the content provided in training as well as opening up options and space for valuable conversations.

Cathy Liska
Cathy LiskaCEO, Center for Coaching Certification

Foster Open Culture for Diverse Perspectives

Making decisions that impact the entire company I lead is a privilege and something I never take lightly. Big decisions require extensive data and input from experts across different departments and functions, so I work to foster an open culture of candid feedback to gain diverse perspectives, which helps improve decision-making.

At the end of the day, I am responsible for making good decisions that guide us forward. I do so after weighing the options and possible impacts and considering how my choices align with our core values and long-term direction.

Recently, I decided to launch a petition and a campaign through AnswerConnect, asking for the regulation of AI, specifically to prevent AI from mimicking human speech patterns. This issue affects us all, and it's important to lead through intentional actions that help us stand on the right side of history.

Natalie Ruiz
Natalie RuizCEO, AnswerConnect

Strategic Foresight in Difficult Choices

As business leaders, handling the pressure of making pivotal decisions requires a blend of strategic foresight, emotional intelligence, and unwavering resolve. One such challenging decision involved the difficult choice of laying off an entire team of virtual assistants (VAs) due to performance and alignment issues, and subsequently hiring a new team.

This decision was not taken lightly. It involved meticulous planning, thorough market analysis, and consideration of the long-term impact on the company's operational efficiency and culture. The process also entailed retraining the new team to ensure they were fully equipped to meet our evolving business needs.

Needless to say, such decisions underscore the importance of adaptability and resilience in leadership, demonstrating a commitment to the company's sustained growth and success.

Michael Lazar
Michael LazarCEO, Content Author

Continuous Learning and Core Value Alignment

The pressure of decision-making is an inherent part of leadership. I handle it by maintaining a continuous learning approach, where each decision, whether successful or not, becomes a learning point. This mindset transforms pressure into an opportunity for growth. I rely heavily on a set of core values that guide our company—integrity, innovation, and customer success. These values ensure that decisions are not just made in the interest of short-term gains but foster long-term sustainability and align with our broader mission. Additionally, regular engagements with other industry leaders and mentors provide fresh perspectives and coping mechanisms.

A significant decision that comes to mind was the strategic shift in our service offerings during the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic. Recognizing the changing market dynamics, I decided to enhance our focus on e-commerce platforms and local SEO services, anticipating the increase in online shopping and local searches. This decision required reallocating resources, intensifying training for our team on new tools and strategies, and updating our service packages.

The decision was not made lightly, as it involved risk and uncertainty, but it was backed by extensive market research and discussions with stakeholders. This pivot not only helped us stay relevant but also allowed us to support our clients in adapting to the new normal, ultimately leading to growth despite the economic downturn.

Jason Hennessey
Jason HennesseyCEO, Hennessey Digital

Thoroughly Think Through Problems

The best way to handle pressure in making far-reaching decisions is to think through the problem as thoroughly as possible before making the decision. Similar to the adage “measure twice, cut once,” you want to be as clear as possible with the outcomes that will potentially happen with the decision at hand.

While you can only make the choice once, you can play the scenarios through in simulations, discussions, and just tapping into your business history or that of a mentor or coach who has gone through a similar choice.

The role of a business executive is to gather all the information and then make the best decision they can, understanding that it is they who must deal with the consequences.

An example of making a decision that affects an entire company is my recent merger into our new company. We have been in business as a single brand for nearly a decade, and now we have four brands to operate with twice the size of the team. While this was disruptive to the teams from the pre-merger era, this decision was positioned as a positive for everyone involved. More responsibility. More resources. Higher revenue potential. Higher income potential. It was the move that we needed to make to reach the next level of performance for our companies.

Jeff Sauer
Jeff SauerCEO, Data Driven U

Democratic Decision-Making With Team

I've always been a fairly democratic leader, so I'd say that the best way for me to handle this type of pressure is by talking major decisions out with the team rather than putting the whole burden on my shoulders. Don't get me wrong, the final decision and the accompanying praise or blame that comes with it will still be mine. That's why we get paid the big bucks, as it were.

That said, you don't have to make those decisions in a vacuum, especially if you've got a relatively small team and can have informal discussions about where the business is headed. Over the last dozen years of operations, many of the decisions we've made as a company have come from frank and honest discussions, the weighing of all sides, and actions that have been made with approval from the group.

Dragos Badea
Dragos BadeaCEO, Yarooms

Collaborate With Trusted Business Partners

Often, I talk it over with my husband. This is less strange than it sounds when you realize that my long-time husband is also my long-time business partner, and that we're a pair of serial entrepreneurs with a few different business concerns at any one time. “One brain is good, two brains are better” is a mantra by which we live, and there is never a decision that is better off when you make it in isolation. Even the decision to shift our overall business focus from L&D towards AI and SEO came from a deep conversation between my partner and me, so I highly suggest talking things over with those who are close to you and whom you can trust.

Kate Kandefer
Kate KandeferCEO, SEOwind

Inclusive and Balanced Decision Strategy

Navigating the pressures of decision-making and steering a company in the right direction is a responsibility I take very seriously. Let me share an insight into how I handle this pressure and provide a specific example from our journey at our company.

Handling the pressure of significant company decisions starts with fostering a collaborative environment. At our organization, I've learned that bringing together diverse perspectives from our team leads to more balanced and thorough decision-making. Before making a major decision, I consult with department heads to gather insights and potential impacts. This collective wisdom not only alleviates the pressure but ensures that decisions are well-informed and inclusive of different aspects of the company.

A major decision we faced was choosing to specialize exclusively in SaaS and e-commerce sectors. This strategic pivot required assessing our team's strengths, market demand, and long-term growth potential. The decision was made through a series of strategy sessions with key team members, ensuring all angles were considered and supported by robust data.

Marc Bishop
Marc BishopDirector, Wytlabs

Invest in Advanced Cybersecurity Measures

As the founder of a legal process outsourcing company, I've learned to navigate the weighty pressure of decision-making through a blend of analytical reasoning and intuition, often drawing from past experiences and lessons learned.

One pivotal decision that stands out is our strategic investment in advanced cybersecurity measures following a data breach incident that compromised sensitive client information. Despite the immediate financial implications, I prioritized our clients' trust and the long-term security of our operations.

By implementing state-of-the-art encryption protocols and conducting thorough employee training on cybersecurity best practices, we fortified our defenses and reaffirmed our commitment to safeguarding client data.

This proactive stance restored client confidence and positioned us as industry leaders in data protection, resulting in increased client retention and new business opportunities.

Aseem Jha
Aseem JhaFounder, Legal Consulting Pro

Align Decisions With Long-Term Vision

I keep a long-term vision in perspective when making decisions. This involves aligning each decision with our company's overarching goals and values, which act as a guiding light and reduce the anxiety of potential short-term fluctuations. Knowing that each decision contributes to a larger vision helps put the immediate pressures into perspective, making them more manageable.

Choosing to remain bootstrapped instead of seeking external funding was a crucial decision that affected all aspects of our company's operations. This decision required us to be more innovative with resource management and growth strategies, focusing intensely on profitability and sustainable development. It allowed us to maintain control over our direction and culture, which we deemed essential for our long-term vision.

Alari Aho
Alari AhoCEO and Founder, Toggl Inc

Patience and Data in High-Stakes Decisions

As a leader, handling high-stakes decisions is part and parcel of my role. The pressure certainly exists, but a couple of strategies help me manage it effectively. Firstly, patience is key. I believe in giving decisions the time they need to mature, especially when the impact is as profound as influencing the entire company. Secondly, focusing on data and strategic input helps mitigate the emotional element of decision-making.

For instance, in my role as General Counsel and Head of Finance at LLC Attorney, I was faced with a decision about a potential merger. This would not only affect the financial landscape of our company but also our workforce. I patiently assessed our financial stamina, employee sentiments, market timing, and the strategic fit of the merger. After careful thought and consultation with key stakeholders, we decided against the merger—a crucial decision that preserved our company culture and fiscal health.

Jonathan Feniak
Jonathan FeniakGeneral Counsel, LLC Attorney

Objectivity and Transparency in Leadership

Personally, I prioritize objectivity and transparency. Honestly, one of the challenges of decision-making in leadership is navigating the emotional toll and pressure that comes with the job. When you're part of a team, it's easy to become paralyzed by both external and internal pressures. It's also tough to balance making the right decision with keeping everyone happy.

But in business, it's rare to find a decision that pleases everyone. I believe the best approach is to ensure all decisions align with the mission and goals of the organization.

I aim to make informed and objective decisions and maintain transparency to minimize pushback. Becoming too personal can be a liability because it ultimately affects the business, employees, and customers, either directly or indirectly.

For me, when decisions are guided by the organization's goals and core values, making tough choices becomes a bit easier. Instead of relying solely on intuition, which can be easily questioned, I refer to more objective sources like documented business goals, KPIs, and historical data. This approach helps in making decisions that are not only justifiable but also aligned with the company's long-term vision.

Sam Hickson
Sam HicksonCEO, TG Wireless - Wholesale Cell Phones

Collaborate, Debate, and Remodel Solutions

Analyze and understand the problem statement yourself, collaborate with each stakeholder, debate, and brainstorm on the best possible solution. Implement, analyze, and remodel.

For example, one decision I made was to implement a per-month wages-based payout to our manpower in place of a per-bill payout to enhance revenue and manpower wages simultaneously in one of the company's operations.

Vipin Garg
Vipin GargChief operating officer

Combine Data Analysis With Team Input

To handle the pressure of impactful decisions, I rely on a combination of data analysis and team input. For example, when deciding to switch to eco-friendly materials, I assessed market trends, cost implications, and consulted with key team members. This collaborative approach ensured we made an informed decision that aligned with our values and customer expectations.

Nicolas Krauss
Nicolas KraussFounder and CEO

Base Decisions on Facts and Circumstances

Decisions like this require much thought and reflection. Making decisions that impact the entire company can be very stressful. But you have to make decisions based on the facts and circumstances. Emotion is certainly involved, but you can't let it be the overriding factor. Once you make the decision, you have to trust your instincts and stay the course unless something fundamentally changes. Then, it is critical to communicate and let people know of the decision and the rationale.

Alan Toliver
Alan ToliverChief Operating Officer

Use Data-Driven Approach and Scenario Planning

As a business executive in healthcare, handling high-pressure decisions impacting the entire company is both challenging and crucial. When making these types of decisions, I use the following:

  1. Data-Driven Approach – I rely on data and analytics to inform my decisions. This helps me objectively evaluate options and minimize emotional biases.
  2. Risk Assessment – I assess potential risks and rewards associated with each decision. This involves considering short-term vs. long-term consequences, financial implications, and market dynamics.
  3. Stakeholder Communication – I maintain open communication with stakeholders—employees, clients, and our B2B customers. Transparency builds trust and helps manage expectations.
  4. Scenario Planning – I create scenarios for different outcomes. This allows me to prepare contingency plans and make changes in real-time if circumstances change.
  5. Decisiveness – Sometimes, indecision can be more damaging than making the wrong choice. I make timely decisions, even if they involve calculated risks.

Suppose our company faced major reductions in revenue due to illnesses such as COVID, which limited in-person interactions. As an executive, I’d need to decide how to handle it. Here’s how I’d approach it:

  • Assessment – Gather data on the extent of the issue, potential harm, and financial impact.
  • Communication – Notify staff and customers transparently, and outline steps to address the problem internally first so our people are clear about how to handle the situation, then externally with clients.
  • Mitigation – Work with the team to offer clients workable options, improve quality control, and prevent missed appointments wherever possible.
  • Legal and PR – Consult legal experts and manage public relations to minimize damage.
  • Long-Term Strategy – Evaluate how to integrate virtual solutions as an ongoing option anytime illness or absence prevents in-person appointments.

As business leaders, we have to keep in mind no decision is perfect, but a well-thought-out strategy coupled with transparent processes can help navigate the pressure and help everyone involved more effectively.

Tammy Cooley
Tammy CooleyChief Operating Officer, Brain Advancement Center, LLC

Embrace Technological Advancements Proactively

Managing an entire company brings a regular stream of high-pressure decisions. My approach is to gather as much information as possible, rely on the expertise of my team, and then trust my experience and instincts. A critical moment came when our industry began shifting toward digital documentation and transactions.

The decision to overhaul our existing processes to embrace this technological advancement wasn't easy. It required significant investment and training. But, recognizing it as an inevitable industry trend, I led the initiative, confident in the long-term benefits. This proactive step modernized our operations while improving our service delivery and customer satisfaction. Such decisions are daunting, but the key is to view them as opportunities for innovation and growth.

Chris Estrada
Chris EstradaCEO & Founder, Nationwide United Auto Transport

Overcome Time and Information Obstacles

When it comes to making difficult decisions, there are two big obstacles to overcome: 1) time and 2) information.

Waiting to make a difficult decision is okay; taking a few hours or even a day to do so, if you can, is a good idea so you can gather more information. But you cannot let that take over, where you are waiting too long and finding distractions keeping you from making that decision. If you need more time, that's fine, but spend that time gathering more information to make the best decision. The best thing you can do is make the decision and run with it; don't second-guess it. If you were wrong, take the hit and figure it out. Business is all about decisions, and many will be the wrong decisions you need to make to find the right one. Fail fast.

Eric Monies
Eric MoniesCEO, Online Biz Builders

Preparation, Consultation, and Intuition Balance

Handling the pressure of making company-wide decisions involves a blend of preparation, consultation, and intuition. For instance, I faced a critical decision when we needed to determine whether to expand our services to a new geographic area. This decision required evaluating market demand, assessing resource allocation, and considering the long-term impact on our team's workload. To navigate this, I gathered data, consulted with key stakeholders, and relied on my own experience in similar contexts. The decision was to proceed with the expansion, which has since led to positive growth and increased service accessibility for our clients.

Kristie Tse
Kristie TseFounder & Therapist, Uncover Mental Health Counseling

Copyright © 2024 Featured. All rights reserved.