Jim Collins On Making Decisions Part 2
His newest book is entitled Great by Choice, and that’s pretty much what we think of best-selling author Jim Collins. Jim has spent his career learning how and why good companies turn into great ones, and he’s shared that knowledge with the world. He’s a rock star, and we were thrilled when he agreed to be a guest on the EntreLeadership podcast.
In our interview with Jim, we focused on decision-making. After the interview was complete, Chris and I made a decision of our own. Chris’ discussion with Jim contained so much great information on business and leadership, we didn’t want you to miss a single bit of it. So we decided to break it in to two parts.
Last week, I shared my notes on part one. Today, I’ve included a synopsis on the rest of the interview. Here’s part two.
Jim said that the “great” executives don’t want to be surrounded by “yes men.” Instead, they encourage debate and disagreement when trying to make a major decision. Once the decision was made, it was followed by:
- A unified commitment by the team behind the decision.
- Brilliant execution of that decision leading to a big click on the flywheel.
Jim’s Advice: It’s your responsibility to disagree. But once that decision is made, it’s your responsibility to either back it up and make it successful or leave.
Besides encouraging debate, the executives interviewed had a high questions-to-statement ratio. What’s that? Jim said it’s how many questions you ask to how many declarative statements you issue.
Jim’s Advice: If you never ask questions, you are probably not going to make as good of a decision. Count your questions-to-statement ratio and see if you can double it in a year.
Great leaders don’t always have all the answers. If you look at how they figure things out, most had to muddle along.
Jim’s Advice: Take someone like Bill Gates. It took him a while to grasp the importance of the internet. If it took him a while, what makes any of us think we are smarter than Bill Gates?
In today’s world, it seems there is never enough time and everyone constantly feeling rushed. How can you make decisions when everything is so crazy?
Jim’s advice: Schedule “pockets of quietude,” on your calendar just like you would any other activity or meeting. You need time to think and reflect, so look at the big picture, then decide what to do.
Question: What’s the hardest decision you’ve ever made and why?