Top managers have to make many decisions every day. Simple recipes help to prevent bosses from mulling over a problem forever.
Everyone has a different way of making decisions. But when executives have a lot at stake people tend to think about the problems forever and never come to a solution.
For top managers, however, this would be fatal because their companies would then come to a standstill. That’s why many people wonder how executives go about making their decisions. Some managers revealed themselves to the German “Handelsblatt“.
Running thought carousel
For example; the Danish manager, and still-CEO of the Adidas sports group, stated that he first wanted to have all the facts on the table and then proceed to weigh-up the pros and cons. However, it is also important to discuss a decision in advance, to ask a lot of questions and to listen, Kasper Rorsted told the paper.
And if he can’t stop thinking about a matter, the only thing that helps him is to play sports, he stressed.
It is precisely at this point that the answers of numerous top managers differ. While some of them engage in sports to clear their heads, others retreat to a park or listen to their favorite music as a ritual.
Science has now also recognized the ‘problem of overthinking’ and offers tips on how top management can make decisions more quickly:
Science with a solution
According to the U.S. organizational psychologist Adam Grant, people should ask themselves two questions if they notice that they have been mulling over a problem for too long: First – how momentous is the decision I want to make? And second – how easily can the decision be reversed?
The less momentous and irreversible the decision, the more quickly it could be made, the expert elaborated. In these cases, less doubt is appropriate.
Easy way out
However, if the decision has serious consequences, it is even more important to go deep into the analysis and to make a decision on the basis of figures or facts, without constantly rethinking the problems.
Of course, top management should also be able to delegate responsibility so that they can concentrate on the important things with clear heads.
The urge for perfection
The head of the sporting goods manufacturer Puma, Anne-Laure Descours, also mentioned another interesting aspect during the survey. Overthinking, she said, often results from the urge to be perfect. At the same time, she continued, decision-makers simply have to accept that things will go wrong from time to time.
“Today, I no longer weigh all eventualities, but focus on what I can influence,” the top manager emphasized.