When you have to make a decision, write down three alternatives that you are considering. For each option, answer these six questions:
1. If I do this, what is the best outcome I can expect?
2. If I do this, what is the worst outcome I can expect?
3. If I do this, what is the most likely outcome I can expect?
4. If the best outcome occurs, will it be worth the time, energy, and money that went into producing it? If not, then don’t do it.
5. If the worst outcome occurs, can my organization survive and still be able to thrive in the future? If not, then don’t do it.
6. If the most likely outcome occurs, will I look back and feel I made the right decision? If not, then don’t do it.
After you answer these six questions for your first alternative, go to the second one, and then to the third one. In the end, you will clearly know whether to go with one of these options or to keep working to find a better alternative.
Investing time in thinking before acting can save you a lot of time, energy, and money over the long run and generate consistently better results.