Good managers make good decisions. What makes a good decision? There are a number of factors to consider when evaluating a decision. However, let’s start with a premise that no one makes perfect decisions every time. Many decisions are open to interpretation. Since our goal is good decisions I believe there are four factors that positively impact decision making resulting in good decisions.

The first factor is Process. A good decision maker has a process that works for him or her. It usually involves the development and consideration of alternatives. Alternatives are evaluated based upon: viability, time, money and history. Let’s review them in reverse order. If the decision involves some history it should be taken into consideration as having impact on the final outcome. For example, if the company has included Martin Luther King Day as a company holiday for the past 10 years that should be a consideration in the decision re: next year’s holiday schedule.

Money or budget has impact on every decision. A $1 million alternative with a $35,000 budget is not going to fly, so don’t waste time on it. Time has equal impact. If the situation requires an action within 30 days and an alternative will take one year to implement it has to be ignored, at least for now. Viability has portions of history, time and money interwoven. Each alternative considered should have a strong ability to be acted upon. If the alternative has too many “if’s” it should be disqualified. Seriously consider only those alternatives that can realistically be implemented.

The second factor is Consistency. Good managers are consistent. They operate from a well defined philosophy and their decisions have clarity throughout the organization. The track record of decision making creates a sounder platform upon which to make succeeding decisions and one thing about decisions is they are constant.

The third factor is the elimination of Emotion in the decision making process. The more detached one can become in the decision making process the better the chance the decision will be a good decision. Emotion plays havoc with decisions. I’ve witnessed countless situations over the years when a capable manager has been rendered near immobile while trying to make a decision they traditionally made with ease because some emotion charged into the process.

Finally, the last factor is Patience. I opted for patience instead of other words to signify the importance of taking the proper amount of time to make a good decision. Patience can be represented by one minute, one hour, one day or one week. The key is to avoid being rash in selecting your decision. In today’s fast paced world managers often feel pressured for a quick response. No matter the pressure try to take that extra piece of time to insure you have followed your process, have a viable alternative, are consistent with other decisions and actions, and have reduced or eliminated emotion.

When you make your decision make it with Confidence.