Koda, help!

I’m at a crucial point in my career where making swift, confident, and accurate decisions is vital for my growth. Sometimes I cause confusion and delay in my big projects because I stall for more time to decide. How can I develop the skill to choose well and quickly move from paralysis to progress?


Desiring to Be a Decisive Success

Dear Decisive Success,

The world changes fast. We need to have the ability to be agile and allow for risk without fear. You are a high potential employee today, and to continue to grow, you need to be proactively ready to make decisions before the decisions arise. Don’t let fear keep you from taking risks, as the world needs you to be your best.

When you prepare well and always aim to learn and grow into your best, your value in the workplace will increase. There are no losses, only learning. Nothing is wasted. 

Calculating your risk is wise as you consider the potential implications of your decisions, but don’t ever default to accepting the status quo if a change is required. 

Hypothetical encouragement sounds great and easy until you stare down a tough decision. However, being very settled in who you are is the foundation of confident decision-making.

Here are two areas to focus on to gain confidence as you make decisions:

A) Get to know yourself as well as you can. 

What is most important to you professionally and personally? In your career, you can’t separate out your life into its own sphere; your work integral to your life and your personal life informs your work. Go deep into naming your values, write a clear purpose statement, take a holistic assessment – like the Hogan Assessment. Document your mastered skills and competencies while evaluating your gaps in technical and leadership skills. Spend time getting real and being honest about who you are. There is no one here to impress, and no one to be afraid of. You are simply looking yourself in the face so you can know yourself better. To paraphrase Aristotle: Knowing thyself is the beginning of all wisdom.  

B) Get to know the market well, too.

Be “of the market” by maintaining an active and ongoing relationship with the marketplace. Take time to study, engage, and be seen in the market. These activities will help you do good research on your industry and career. Think of your career as your own small business; your work to in this area is market research on what’s possible in your career! Meet people in areas of the market you wish to know more about–in your company, the same industry, or even broader. Attend conferences, workshops, and events (both live and online) to hear and meet experts on the latest trends. Read articles and possibly find formal or informal training to continue learning beyond your organization. A deeper, broader view of the market will give you confidence that you have high value and also inform your decisions as you go.

The key is regularly working “on” your career versus only in your job. You should allocate 1-2 hours per week to your strategic career plan. Sometimes decisions can seem daunting when you focus too narrowly on your task and job. By gaining a more settled view of yourself and a deeper view of the market, you’re making any singular decision much smaller by comparison. You have nothing to lose, only good things to learn. 

Go! Be bold.


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