Time value of decisions

One of the valuable lessons I learned from a mentor earlier in my career is to appreciate and always consider the time value of decision-making while leading a company. What I mean by this is to consider the relationship between time and the decision at hand. A CEO makes an absurd number of decisions each week, particularly in the early stages of a business. Some of these decisions require prompt and decisive action. In these cases, time is of the essence and a call needs to be made efficiently. Given the number of decisions being made on a weekly basis though, I've see some executives fall into the trap of approaching every decision with the same level of urgency. In the spirit of efficiency, a checking off the boxes mentality becomes a behavioral norm. The reality is that some decisions don't require speed or decisive action. In some cases, time is on your side and the more time you give a situation to evolve and play out, the more data you’re able to collect that may inform the ultimate decision. In some cases, situations evolve in a way that makes the decision obvious with the benefit of some time. The best CEOs with whom I've had the pleasure to work recognize the nuanced difference between these two types of decision points. In cases where urgency matters, act swiftly and decisively. In cases where time is on your side, use every bit of it and let things play out so you make the best decision possible. Recognizing these two paradigms in the moment ain't easy but it can make a big difference between good and great decision-making, which ultimately makes a big difference in a company's growth trajectory.

By Josh Guttman