This is how Navy SEALs decide

From what to wear to what to do first at work, We make thousands of decisions every day, Some are trivial, like choosing oatmeal instead of avocado toast. But other decisions can have serious consequences for you or others. When making those choices, it can be easy to get caught up in systematically weighing all of your options. While this may seem like a sensible process, it can also cause you to miss out on opportunities. Sometimes you just need to call.

“With so much information, a lot of people get analysis paralysis,” says ADS, Inc., a military equipment supplier. Ryan Angold, former Navy SEAL and CEO of “You want to do your research and have access to all the resources you have so you can make the right decisions. But you can’t sit in analysis paralysis forever. After all, there’s no 100% right decision.”

“All decisions are basically the same,” says VMWare Chief Digital Transformation Officer Mike Hayes, former Navy SEAL commander and author of Never Enough: A Navy SEAL Commander on Living a Life of Excellence, Agility and Meaning,

During Hayes’ 20-year career with the Navy SEALs, he was the commanding officer of SEAL Team TWO, which led a special operations task force in Afghanistan that involved 1,100 aircraft bombing missions. Making a life-or-death decision requires the same process as making a low-stakes decision.

“Whether I’m making an investment decision on what the company should do now or I’m deciding which operations SEALs should conduct, it comes down to that same decision-making framework,” he says. .

1. Gather Input

When you are a team leader or high performing member, you have probably built up a set of experiences from which you can draw.

“The requirement in SEAL teams is that you went through many different scenarios, you trained for the most extreme environment, the most challenging environment, the worst case scenario,” Engold says. “These reference points are helpful. You can say, ‘Well, we’ve seen something like this before.’ Maybe it’s not the exact scenario—it never happens. But you’ve learned how teams work and can make quick decisions.”

Gathering input from others is important. Hayes, who served as a White House fellow and director of defense policy and strategy on the National Security Council under the Bush and Obama administrations, says it’s best to tap people who don’t think like you.

“Often, we look for like-minded input,” he says. “Artists hire artists and engineers hire engineers. By getting input from people who don’t think like us and having a culture that celebrates differences and raises other ideas, you guys It helps to be comfortable saying, ‘Hey, sir, I don’t think that’s a good idea. How do I do this.’ That framework enables the best possible decisions.”

Generate the best ideas you possibly can, suggests Hayes. Get them all on the table, and then have a process of how the best idea gets to the top. “We did it by listening to different voices,” he says. “I took my decision-making process myself and compared it to a bunch of other inputs. Then you can decide what’s best.”

“Many leaders think they have to make their own decisions,” Engold says. “Trusting your team is not a sign of weakness. Strong leaders take advantage of their resources.”

2. Decide When to Decide

The first decision in making a decision is not a decision, Hayes says. “The first thing to do is when to make your decision,” he says. “That’s the thing most people get wrong.”

Knowing when to make a decision depends on getting the best possible input needed to make a decision as quickly as possible. Sometimes the decision time is 30 seconds, such as deciding when to drop a bomb. Other times the time of decision may also be two weeks. You can also decide not to make a decision.

“At some point, the value of those additional inputs in your input stream exceeds the time associated with receiving more inputs,” Hayes says. “At that juncture is when you want to make your decision. You start losing value by waiting too long. As the commander of the Special Operations Task Force, I often said, ‘No, we’re not, we’re not doing this. It doesn’t make any sense.’ We decided not to do something that was being presented. ,

The experience happens when you’re at the inflection point, says Hayes. “It’s quantitative and qualitative,” he says. “There are times when you are finding more information that is useful for your decision, but there are also times where you need to work in instinct. Instinct is really a set of experiences that you May not crystallize completely, but from that you get the logic.”

Waiting too long can also affect the decision, says Engold. “You can’t sit there forever,” he says. “People are waiting, and other decisions are being made based on what you’ve made. Sometimes waiting too long, eventually, takes away the effect of the right decision, because you’ve been hesitating for too long.” “

3. Be Prepared (and Prepared) for the Right Course

After making a decision, you may have made a mistake. Hess and Engold say that humility — intellectual and genuine — will help you make the right decisions.

“When making decisions, too many senior leaders let their ego get in their way,” Hayes says. “They think they’re going to look bad by reversing. You need to be comfortable saying, ‘There’s new information, let me reevaluate. We’re going to reverse course.’ It is the ultimate sign of leadership as it is a sign of comfort in your own skin and there is no need to look good in front of an organization. Instead, you are putting the organization before yourself and doing the right thing.”

Angold agrees. “It takes a lot of humility for someone to be able to recognize that it was the wrong call,” he says. “That’s where communication is key and there’s transparency with your team. When you accept a wrong decision, you can gain a lot of extra trust from your team.”

Having the will to fail and then do the course right helps you speed up decision making. “If you know you can adjust, it enables you to make decisions quickly,” Engold says. “We don’t want to take risks… but if you are a leader who is empathetic, courteous, and transparent, and leads by example, you can make a quick decision and know what to do if you make the wrong decision.” your team still has your back because they trust you’ll fix it.”

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