Connect with us

Entrepreneurship

How to Make Better Decisions More Quickly

Published

on

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

My phone kept ringing off the hook. I was receiving a flood of notifications, and the news kept giving mixed reports. March of 2020 wasn’t just a frenzy, it was absolute chaos. But I don’t need to remind you of that fact — it’s hard not to recall those initial days of the pandemic.

Back then, nobody seemed to know what was going on. There are no “founder guidelines” for what to do when an unprecedented pandemic hits. In those moments, it’s just you and your choices.

Colleagues were scrambling to set up Zoom meetings and re-structuring their organizations due to the new economic uncertainty. And we all had to address the biggest question of all: What’s going to happen?

In their enlightening story for Harvard Business Review, contributors David J. Snowden and Mary E Boone note that “Working in unfamiliar environments can help leaders and experts approach decision-making more creatively.”

As CEO of my company, Jotform, there were no easy answers to give, but I knew that it was up to me to remain a steady harbor for my team. We’d have to work together to develop new coping mechanisms. And it was also up to me to figure out a variety of decisions. This meant that I needed to leave my comfort zone and come up with an entirely new way of leading.

Why leaders need to choose the right framework for decision-making

When settings are unfamiliar and challenging, we shouldn’t rely on our old ways of doing things. Instead, we need to learn to identify the signals of when a shift in leadership is needed.

For instance, I know of many business colleagues who were paralyzed when the pandemic struck. It took them a long time to change the way they made their decisions — meaning their teams were also caught in this limbo.

That’s the thing about being a leader: People are looking to you for reassurance and guidance. We have to be ultra-clear about our communication and our decisions.

Researchers Snowden and Boone identified several frameworks for decision-making. However, I’d like to share some of the strategies that worked for me during the upheaval of 2020 and have continued to help me navigate the following years up until now.

Related: “Quitting Is A Virtue”: Why This Decision-Making Expert Says That Quitting Can Be A Growth Strategy

1. Learn to make quick decisions

Entrepreneur contributor Sanchita Dash writes that “One of the most important traits of being an entrepreneur is being able to take quick decisions that more often than not, decide the fate of your company.” She wrote this back in 2018 when this practice wasn’t nearly as essential as it has become today.

A fast approach doesn’t just guarantee you don’t remain stuck, but it also ensures your employees feel a greater sense of psychological safety — which will affect your organization’s morale and productivity in the long run.

There are many articles about why we need to slow down to make the wisest decisions during a crisis, but I believe that leaders also need to develop agility. Of course, this doesn’t mean going into stressful overdrive thinking you have to rapidly resolve every problem cropping up. You’ll only make yourself sick and burn out.

I’m generally a big proponent of growing slowly and steadily as a business — it’s one of the main pillars of my company. But when it comes to decision-making, I agree with the founder of Polash Ventures, Lalit Upadhyay. “As an entrepreneur, you need to take decisions quickly as the active time frame for a current decision is going to be very short,” he tells Dash. “The result of the decision one has taken will show whether it was a quality decision or not.”

Moreover, he affirms that “the entrepreneurial journey is all about taking the right decisions with confidence and positivity, firmly at the right time, one after another.”

Related: Want to Be More Memorable to People? Ask Yourself This One Thing.

2. During a crisis, avoid micromanaging at all costs

Lately, I’ve been writing a lot about the importance of cutting out hard deadlines from your organization. Why? Because people who feel the pressure to produce won’t do their best work. In the case of my form-building company, I’ve come up with a framework for leading that is about avoiding any kind of micromanaging. It has no place here.

This was especially vital to cut out during 2020 when the world came to a halt. Suddenly, every employee was forced to juggle their work and home responsibilities like never before — and flexibility wasn’t just a nice option, it was mandatory. We couldn’t demand that our teams finish a project by the same means they had done in days past.

Earlier this year Ivan Popov made the case for why leaders need to stop micromanaging their teams and learn to let go. “Employees all over the world work in a constantly changing and evolving work environment,” he wrote for Entrepreneur. “While leaders and managers should focus on ways to improve their team’s overall work experience, they should also not forget about upgrading their leadership strategies.”

Taking the above into consideration, your framework for decision-making shouldn’t just be about your bottom line, but also lead to a more fluid workflow and more dynamic culture.

Related: Ask This One Question If You Want to Succeed

3. Don’t try to find all the right answers — just act

This one is particularly tricky for perfectionists who believe they can burn the candle at both ends figuring out the right solution for each problem.

As someone who struggles with this tendency, I’m here to tell you that the adage is right when it says “done is better than perfect.”

Snowden and Boone note that the pandemic demands decisive action, but that good leadership also “requires openness to change on an individual level.”

They add: “Truly adept leaders will know not only how to identify the context they’re working in at any given time but also how to change their behavior and their decisions to match that context.”

I humbly attribute my ability to manage this crisis with a dose of confidence and grace to my agility as a leader.

Related: How to Use Mental Models to Make Better Decisions Faster

Source link

Entrepreneurship

Southwest Develops Software Fix to Prevent Travel Meltdowns

Published

on

Following its disastrous Christmas travel season, which saw the cancellation of 16,700 flights, Southwest Airlines is testing new software fixes — and facing an inquiry from the Dept. of Transportation (DOT) for “unrealistic scheduling of flights.”


Lowe Llaguno | Shutterstock

CNN reports that the airline’s existing software system will remain in place. However, changes stemming from Southwest’s review include a new command center team, telephone system improvements, and overall improved preparedness for inclement weather.

In a Thursday call with investors, the Portland Press Herald reports that Southwest CEO Bob Jordan defended the company’s systems and operating plans, saying, “Based on what we know at this point, our processes and technology generally worked as designed.”

Southwest also announced Thursday that it had a third-quarter 2022 loss of $220 million in revenue. At the same time, Jordan assured investors that issues dogging the airline throughout the holidays won’t “ever happen again.”

Southwest had many cancellations over the holidays partly because their system requires crew members to call in instead of updating their availability electronically. On Thursday, the company’s COO, Andrew Watterston, called that “a problem” and then elaborated, “It wasn’t the problem for the situation. It was a symptom of the problem.”

According to Jordan, switching to electronic notification will necessitate changes in pilot and flight attendant labor contracts. CNN says Southwest is currently negotiating to replace existing contracts covering various issues, including pay and benefits.

Despite tech failures, the Press Herald notes that Bob Jordan said Southwest would shell out $1.3 billion for its upcoming upgrades this year. The “recent disruptions,” Jordan said, “will likely accelerate some of our plans to enhance our processes and technology.”

Source link

Continue Reading

Entrepreneurship

Southwest Develops Software Fix to Prevent Travel Meltdowns

Published

on

Following its disastrous Christmas travel season, which saw the cancellation of 16,700 flights, Southwest Airlines is testing new software fixes — and facing an inquiry from the Dept. of Transportation (DOT) for “unrealistic scheduling of flights.”


Lowe Llaguno | Shutterstock

CNN reports that the airline’s existing software system will remain in place. However, changes stemming from Southwest’s review include a new command center team, telephone system improvements, and overall improved preparedness for inclement weather.

In a Thursday call with investors, the Portland Press Herald reports that Southwest CEO Bob Jordan defended the company’s systems and operating plans, saying, “Based on what we know at this point, our processes and technology generally worked as designed.”

Southwest also announced Thursday that it had a third-quarter 2022 loss of $220 million in revenue. At the same time, Jordan assured investors that issues dogging the airline throughout the holidays won’t “ever happen again.”

Southwest had many cancellations over the holidays partly because their system requires crew members to call in instead of updating their availability electronically. On Thursday, the company’s COO, Andrew Watterston, called that “a problem” and then elaborated, “It wasn’t the problem for the situation. It was a symptom of the problem.”

According to Jordan, switching to electronic notification will necessitate changes in pilot and flight attendant labor contracts. CNN says Southwest is currently negotiating to replace existing contracts covering various issues, including pay and benefits.

Despite tech failures, the Press Herald notes that Bob Jordan said Southwest would shell out $1.3 billion for its upcoming upgrades this year. The “recent disruptions,” Jordan said, “will likely accelerate some of our plans to enhance our processes and technology.”

Source link

Continue Reading

Entrepreneurship

5 Ways to Become a Better Public Speaker This Year

Published

on

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

The ability to speak publicly is a skill that everyone can use. From coaches to entrepreneurs and writers, anyone who wants to get out into the world to market what they do needs to be an effective speaker.

This article will discuss five ways to become a better public speaker — five methods for sharpening your raw talents to morph into a more effective communicator overall.

Related: This Is the One Thing You Need If You Want to Get Paid Speaking Gigs

1. Practice in different environments

This tip comes from an exercise that musicians sometimes use while practicing.

The idea is to see if you can replicate your performance no matter where you are. As a speaker, you will encounter all kinds of scenarios and audiences. You have surely had distractions around you, being in front of people with different interests, being under different lighting and noise conditions and more.

Practicing speaking in different environments will force you to get comfortable performing under all circumstances. Without the crutch of your favorite environment, you have to remember your lines and recall cues completely on your own.

Related: 4 Expert-Backed Strategies for Improving Your Communication Skills

2. Produce different kinds of ‘speaking’ content

Another tip for becoming a more well-rounded speaker is to produce a variety of speaking content. Speakers don’t always have to stand on a stage and talk to live audiences.

I create speaking content across many channels — from my website and blog to YouTube and my podcast series. I distribute audio and video recordings of my speeches to my clients and promote them on my social channels. I go live on Facebook and other platforms to speak directly to my audiences that way. You can do the same.

This variety isn’t by accident. Producing these different types of content in the digital space allows individuals to sharpen their speaking skills and reach larger audiences than they could in person.

3. Get active on audio platforms

Here’s a speaking tip that doesn’t involve performing as much as learning from what others are already doing: Get active on professional audio platforms such as Clubhouse and Twitter Spaces to meet with like-minded individuals and discuss relevant topics.

Doing this lets you compare notes with industry counterparts while working on your speaking skills. You will endeavor to communicate with other business leaders and coaches from around the world and all different walks of life.

Related: The Role of Effective Communication in Entrepreneurial Success

4. Take every opportunity to speak

Speak to a group at every available opportunity. I used to wonder how I could speak to an audience when the professional invitations dried up for a bit, and the answer was local service groups.

Toastmasters International, Rotary International, Lions Clubs International and the Freemasons are all great examples of the types of organizations that not only perform good works for their local communities but also welcome speakers and presenters to deliver valuable information to their members.

I find chapters of these groups in many cities and towns that I visit. Having these groups near me allows me to cut down on my travel time and simply makes it more convenient to continue practicing speaking skills while also putting my abilities to good use for my community.

Not only will this help you with your skills at public speaking, but it’s a rewarding experience as well.

5. Work with a speaking coach

Finally, every speaker-in-training could benefit from working with a speaking coach or mentor. These professionals provide their clients with professional tips and feedback on everything from the words they’re using to how they’re delivering them to audiences.

Some speakers wonder why they can’t just rely on their friends and families to provide them with honest feedback, and there are some good reasons for not doing that. Family and friends are kind, but that’s exactly the problem. Speakers need the unrelenting honesty of professional coaches if they truly want to leave their bad habits behind and become stronger.

I hired a professional speaking coach to improve my skills, and I can attest that it pays dividends every single day in my career.

Related: Leading Speaking Coach Shares His Strategies To Get A Flood Of Clients From Webinars And Virtual Presentations

Communication is everything to professionals

Whether it’s in the world of business, non-profits or coaching, speaking effectively is vital to success. Communication means everything to professionals, and those who can’t tell others what they do and what they’re about can’t expect to get their visions too far off the ground.

I followed these five actionable tips for becoming a better speaker, and I came out on the other side as a communicator that I never even thought possible. You will do the same.

Source link

Continue Reading

Trending

%d bloggers like this: