The Essence of Good Decision Making

Making decisions is a part of life. I have found that good decision making boils down to two things:

  1. Clearly identifying the problem you are trying to solve
  2. Listing and understanding as many possible outcomes as possible given different decision paths
  • The only effective way to solve a problem is to have clarity on what exactly you’re trying to solve. If you want to drive from NYC to LA, how do you choose your route? Start by defining the problem. Do you want to get to LA in the fastest time possible? The most scenic drive? The drive with the least tolls? The answer to those questions will help guide your decision making.
  • That’s a rather simplistic example so let’s try another…
  • You own a business and are in need of a new provider for a critical path function. Critical path functions are those things that if fail, can bring a business to its knees. For most companies, who they buy their office supplies from is not a critical path function. However, providers that offer secure data storage may be a critical path item if your business deals with gathering and storing large amounts of customer data.
  • Attached is a recent blog I published for i2c, where I am the EVP of Global Sales and Marketing. While specific to the payments space, the decision criteria can be applied under any circumstances if thought about more broadly.
  • As always, I look forward to your thoughts and reactions.
  • https://www.i2cinc.com/blog/5-critical-considerations-evaluating-payments-processor/
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    The beauty of becoming

    I recently heard someone describe Spring as a “beautiful time of becoming”. It’s the time when all things are born and new. A time of rapid growth and development.

    As you think about your own “becoming”, what are you doing to grow and develop? What are you doing to plant the seeds in your life to improve and expand?

    The beauty of becoming resides within all of us. All you need to do is act.

    How effective is your Go-To-Market Strategy?

    Developing a winning Go-To-Market strategy includes having deep insights into your markets, accounts, and buyers.  It requires a compelling brand message, and the right sales coverage.  Two very important components to assess the effectiveness of a GTM strategy include knowing what’s important – KPIs, and how your strategy is tracking against those KPIs.

    Check out my blog on 7 KPIs to Evaluate Go-To-Market Effectiveness.  

    Understanding Your Purpose

    Many confuse focus with purpose. Living, or working, with focus means zeroing in on the one or two things that are important to you at that moment in time. Living with purpose is to understand what’s truly important to you and then doing the things necessary to fulfill your purpose.

    Today I need to focus on an upcoming meeting with a CEO. However that meeting is not my purpose. My purpose is to be a difference maker for those whose lives I come in contact with…to make a difference, solve a problem, bring joy, reduce pain. In business that requires having a strong focus on continuous learning, active listening, and structured thinking. I must always be learning new things in order to build a mental database of ideas to recommend. I have to listen deeply to the person,, or people with whom I am working to truly understand and empathize. Finally I have to be able to process what I’ve heard – and felt – with what I know – the knowledge I’ve acquired through learning and experience. When I do these things well I fulfill my purpose.

    Have you identified your purpose? It’s not enough to say you want to be the best sales person, marketer, father, brother, friend, runner, or swimmer. You’ve got to go deeper. What makes you want to be the best? Is it money? Fame? Recognition? Personal pride? Personal demons?

    To find your purpose answer these questions:

    1. What am I doing when I am happiest?

    2. Who am I with when I am happiest?

    3. What emotions – physical and mental – am I experiencing when I am happiest?

    4. What challenges you, that while difficult and unpleasant, secretly get you excited?

    5. And finally, what do you fear most?

    Often times the answer to the 5th and final question provides valuable insight into your purpose. Understanding what you fear can help you create the best path forward to live your purpose. Remember your life’s purpose can only be defined by you, not others. In the end, only you can answer the question, “did I live my life as the best version of myself?”.

    Be purposeful in all you do. We all have a limited amount of sand in our hourglass. Make every one of them count.

    Win/Loss analysis is the key to growth

    I have spent more than 20 years studying buyers in various industries.  What motivates buyers to take action – for or against your product or service?  How are you truly perceived within the marketplace?  How do you blend what to say, with what to do, in order to demonstrate your credibility in the market as a problem solver?

    As a Principal with Sales Benchmark Index, I have the privilege of working with companies across a variety of industries to help them make their number.  Read my latest blog here to learn why Marketing should own Win/Loss analysis and the benefits that come along with this critical work.

    The Winds of Change for Insurance: How your buyer’s input is changing the model

    Consultant presenting insurance concept and risk management

    Buyers have changed the rules.  Sellers no longer are in control.  To survive and thrive requires a continuous interaction with your customers and your prospects.  Listening, observing, asking, and engaging are the key activities that will improve your rate of success.

    No industry is immune to changing buying behaviors.  Insurance has long been thought to be a product that can only be purchased a certain way – through an agent or broker.  However, as Geico, Progressive, and now Hiscox have all proven this thinking to be outdated.  Buyers can, will, and do buy insurance online.  Sure, not all lines are yet available to secure via an online option but I believe it’s only a matter of time.  Why?  Because the buyer is demanding it.

    In my white paper below, The Future of Insurance’s Agency Distribution Model, I provide insights for carriers and agents alike as to how to think about the buyer’s journey differently.  There’s no better time than the present to lean in and get intimate with your buyers to understand what’s important to them today, what’s trending for tomorrow, and what they will demand in the not so distant future.

    The Future of Insurances Agency Distribution Model

    Type A Personalities – 3 ways to confront anxiety

    Worker thinks solution of his problems

    Hard charging, Type A personalities, often struggle with taming their fear of failure.  Most would agree that fear, when kept in check and under control, is an emotion that can both protect and propel us.  Understanding the cause of the fear you’re experiencing is the first step to developing a plan to calm it, contain it, control it.

    Anxiety is the result, or symptom, of fear. If I fear I won’t be able to hit the ball, anxiety causes me to dread my up-at-bat.  If I fear I will fail my statistics class, then anxiety will kick in and cause me to block any learning that will ultimately help me pass the class. If I fear I will miss my monthly sales number, my anxiety will cause me to go into rapid-fire mode doing as many things as I can simply to create the appearance that I’m working hard.

    Anxiety perpetuates fear, creates the stress, and force, strong enough to shut you down.  Dealing with anxiety is critical to successfully navigating change, taking risk, and managing failure.  Here are 3 ways to keep your anxiety in check:

    1. Ask the question “why not me?” When we think we will fail it is because we don’t feel competent, smart enough, savvy enough, or insightful enough to win.  Why not? Rather than thinking about the failure, replace that thought with the question why not me.  I’m smart, why not me?  I’m intelligent, why not me?  I’ve accomplished a number of great things, why not me?
    2. Turn anxiety into excitement. Replace, what if I fail, with what will I learn? Replace what if this doesn’t last, with how much better will I be no matter how long this lasts?  What will I have experienced that will make me more valuable, more fulfilled?
    3. Breath. The power of 10 minutes of just breathing is quite powerful.  Call it meditation, self-reflection, self-empowerment, or self-love, whatever you call it the purpose of this 10 minutes is to rebalance your inner self.  To bring calm to any internal bubbling that’s taking place.  There are thousands of books on this subject, apps for your smartphone, and calming music for your ears.  Get one, or some, but act now to calm the storm from building.