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Maxims from Mike - Strategic Reflection for Better Decisions.

Hello Leaders,

Welcome to Today. Today's Leadership and Personal Development tip deals with Strategic Reflection.

Maxim: Strategic reflection leads to better decision making.

In this "microwave society" there is a need to go faster, get to market sooner, be first to solve the customer's problem, etc. The faster you go today, the faster you will need to go tomorrow. Quick decisions today begets quicker decisions tomorrow. With this virtuous cycle of ever quickening decision making there is a need to pause to reflect.

Good businesses and other entities will take time to conduct a post-mortem on a failure. Incidentally, those in the medical profession will tell those of us who are not that post-mortem means after death or an autopsy. I agree. It's also used in business to conduct an autopsy on a failed project. Similarly, some teams use it after the completion of any project to determine what went right and what went wrong. See the definition in the caption below.

project post-mortem - intended to inform process improvements

Sales teams working on major deal will conduct a post-mortem to determine why they lost the deal. They will pause to reflect. What can they learn from the loss to reduce the risk of another future loss?

However, a question that goes unasked far too often is, "Why did we win?" In our post-modern world who wants to take the time to analyze the win? You want to celebrate the victory and begin working on the next big deal. But hear this! The top business people analyze why they lose AND why they win. There are times when you just get lucky. You may have won because the competition made a colossal faux pas. You may have won because the customer had to spend the budget now or lose the funding. Or there may be another reason that is outside of your influence. If you base this win on the strategy you developed, you will be at risk of losing a similar deal if you mistakenly implement your unproven strategy. It worked with customer A. Surely it will work with customer B.

It makes good business sense to reflect on losses AND wins. Leaders should require this of their people. As stated earlier, the world is moving faster. To keep pace, your team and you must keep learning to outpace the seasons of change. Learn from your losses and learn from your wins. Learn from every decision especially the crucial ones.

Concerning your last major decision - what went right? What went wrong? What happened that was unanticipated? What would you do differently? What would you do similarly? Are your actual results materially different than your expected results? Why? What were the unintended consequences? The point is - the more questions you ask and answer, the better you will improve your decision making. Improved decision making leads to faster response time. Good decisions faster is what the market requires. And it all starts with taking the time to reflect. Ironic, huh?

You can be good and reflect on your losses, mistakes, failures, etc. Doing so will make you better than average. Or you can be great and reflect on your wins, successes, accomplishments, etc. in addition to your losses. Improve yourself at every turn to become a better person and a better leader.

Are you ready for more success? It's yours. Go get it. Slow down for strategic reflection in order to make faster and better decisions going forward. If you need help in this area, please contact me. Let me help bring out the best in you and/or your organization.

That's it for now. Until the next tip....

Mike Nwankwo

Founder & CEO

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