If you have the facts necessary to make a decision, don’t keep putting off decisions. One of Dale Carnegie’s students, H.P. Howell, told him that when he was a member of the board of directors of U.S. Steel, the meetings of the board were often long-drawn-out affairs—many problems were discussed, but few decisions were made. The result: each member of the board had to carry home bundles of reports to study.
Finally, Mr. Howell persuaded the board of directors to take up one problem at a time and come to a decision. No procrastination—no putting off. The decision might be to ask for additional facts; it might be to do something or to do nothing. But a decision was reached on each problem before passing on to the next. Mr. Howell told Carnegie that the results were striking and salutary: the docket was cleared. The calendar was clean. No longer was it necessary for each member to carry home a bundle of reports. No longer was there a worried sense of unresolved problems.
This is a good rule to follow, not only for the board of directors of a major corporation like U.S. Steel, but for you and me in our everyday lives. Encountering problems are a part of life, and it’s how you respond to them that will make the difference going forward. Address them, solve them, and move on to something else!
Photo credit: freedigitalphotos.net/Stuart Miles