As a startup leader, what is one of your decision-making strengths and what is one of your decision-making blindspots?
To help you improve your decision-making for your startup business, we asked startup founders and business owners this question for their best insights. From being firm when you make decisions to giving and receiving feedback to strengthen your decision-making, there are several valuable lessons in decision-making that would equip you to provide the best leadership for your startup.
Here are 12 lessons these startup leaders learned from analyzing their decision-making strengths and weaknesses:
- Be Firm When You Make Decisions
- Run Toward Opportunity Without Fear
- Consider Different Points of View in Your Decision-Making
- Take Calculated Risks and Avoid Being Indecisive
- Put in Your Best and Try Not to Be Perfect
- Learn to Channel Passion into Business
- Be Always Prepared to Make Decisions on Your Feet
- Learn to Apply Empathy to Data-Driven Business Decisions
- Avoid Saying Yes to Every Good Opportunity
- Teach Yourself to Delegate Tasks
- Test New Things Fast With Your Team to Respond Quickly
- Give and Receive Feedback to Strengthen Your Decision-Making
Be Firm When You Make Decisions
There are strengths and weaknesses to my ability to make decisions as our company’s founder and CEO. I am firm in my decision-making when business thrives. I tell people not to respond if they try to take up too much of my time trying to get a lower price. On the other hand, when business is slow, I do give up to a 20% discount. I need to be more consistent in my decision-making. I am firm when business is thriving but when business drops off, I give a good-size discount. I am not consistent but should be.
Janice Wald, Mostly Blogging
Run Toward Opportunity Without Fear
As the Director of Growth for our company, one of my strengths is encouraging others not to fear failure but to run toward opportunity. We learn the most about ourselves, our customers, product and company when we exchange fear and doubt for learnings and resilience.
Our ultimate goal is to give a voice to deskless employees everywhere and we each take that to heart. It’s hard not to run fast toward a goal that has the ability to create generational change for workers across the globe.
Jennifer Harris-Kroll, Anthill
Consider Different Points of View in Your Decision-Making
One of my decision-making strengths is my ability to listen to others’ opinions, including those of my team, customers, and other stakeholders. I am able to take in all points of view and weigh them to make an informed decision. Alas, however, one of my blindspots (and I surely have many) is that I sometimes struggle to comprehend the full impact of a decision on my team, customers, and other stakeholders. You cannot always please everyone, but knowing how decisions will affect them as individuals is critical. I am always working hard to improve in this regard so that I can be fully cognizant of the impact of my decisions on others.
Matthew Ramirez, Paraphrase Tool
Take Calculated Risks and Avoid Being Indecisive
As a startup leader, one of my decision-making strengths is that I am able to take calculated risks. I have a good sense for what is feasible and what is not, so I am comfortable making decisions that may have a higher potential for failure but could also lead to greater success. One of my decision-making blindspots, however, is that I can be indecisive at times. This can often lead to further analysis paralysis and can prevent me from making decisions in a timely manner.
Aviad Faruz, FARUZO New York
Put in Your Best and Try Not to Be Perfect
Being free from failure has always been a quality which has led to my success as a startup leader. Alternatively, my desire to be the best at what I do can sometimes be a hindrance. As an entrepreneur, my goal is to offer the best I can, no matter the circumstances. However, no one is perfect, so I need to remember that it is OK to fall short of my own personal expectations. As long as I am trying my best, that is the right approach to take. For those thinking of starting your own business, my advice would be to pull the trigger and push yourself to meet your goals, even if they seem too lofty at times.
Jonathan Zacharias, GR0
Learn to Channel Passion into Business
Growing client relationships in a creative field. I have always been passionate about filmmaking, but I have not taken the typical path with my business. Building a client base is one of the biggest struggles a business can go through, and we have learned to be true partners with our clients and strive to have a creative work environment so that everyone feels they are part of something truly special. It is this passion that helps us not only retain our clients but continue to grow.
Stephen Skeel, 7 Wonders
Be Always Prepared to Make Decisions on Your Feet
My greatest leadership strength is being able to put my head down and as I like to call it, hustle in silence. My greatest blindspot, however, has been self-awareness to the effect that I didn’t realize how much you could learn until you’re thrown into the step-by-step process. As a startup leader, you never have the information needed or the necessary tools until you’re in the thick of it. Learning how to learn and learning as you go is a big part of the process.
Eric Elggren, Andar
Learn to Apply Empathy to Data-Driven Business Decisions
As someone in the start-up space, one of my superpowers is to take a mound of data and glean insights from it to make intelligent business decisions. This often has great outcomes, but there is a blindspot. Most people incorporate emotions into important decisions, and this should be factored in. When the data suggests a specific course of action, you should run it through an emotional filter to discover externalities that may skew the results in an unexpected way. For this reason, I’m very intentional about working on my emotional intelligence, through coaching and active listening.
Dennis Consorte, Snackable Solutions
Avoid Saying Yes to Every Good Opportunity
As a startup leader, one of my key decision-making strengths is my ability to take into account both short-term and long-term objectives. I always try to consider how my decisions will affect the company in both the immediate future and the long run. This allows me to make well-informed decisions that balance immediate needs with long-term goals. One of my decision-making blindspots is that I sometimes have difficulty saying “no.” When presented with a new opportunity or challenge, I often find myself wanting to say “yes” and take it on, even if it might not be the best decision for the company. This can occasionally lead to me biting off more than I can chew, and taking on too many projects at once.
Adil Advani, Stream Digitally
Teach Yourself to Delegate Tasks
My strength is I have a natural talent to identify customer needs. Every brand is in the business of meeting the needs and wants of its customers and the one strength that always works in my favor is my ability to quickly identify the specific requirements of a customer base. This enables me to build brand solutions that are among the first out of the gate. I have often witnessed this unique strength bringing my teams both stability and success to our ventures.
For my blindspot, it’s thinking twice before delegating. Delegation is a strength we often undermine as entrepreneurs. Although I have learned quite a bit from the few setbacks I have experienced due to my inability to delegate as much as I should, I still have a long way to go. We often take on more than we can handle, and while we give it our all, we also fall short due to the lack of time. And since this isn’t always a good thing, I know well that decisions related to delegation sure need some extra attention and more quicker approvals from me.
Igal Rubinshtein, Home Essentials Direct
Test New Things Fast With Your Team to Respond Quickly
As a startup leader, one of my biggest strengths is being able to test new experiments and pivot quickly. I head up our sales team, so we run tests sometimes for 2 weeks, a month, or sometimes even extend to a quarter while data matures to make data-based decisions on fail/success outcomes.
We have weekly discussions with our Growth Team (focused on new customer acquisition) that is comprised of myself (representing Sales), Marketing leaders, Product leaders, Head of Design, Analytic leader, and an Engineer to represent technical requirements – From there, we breakdown the analytics/themes of the experiment to have meaningful retros on learnings so we can pivot as needed. With the right team members, and accountability there shouldn’t be decision-making blindspots.
Sara Martlage, Trainual Inc.
Give and Receive Feedback to Strengthen Your Decision-Making
Knowing how to resolve contending opinions is very important for law firm leaders. Like, in my team when a financial and personal lawyer collide, we do a trial run of both. Once we know the merits and demerits of each idea, the decision is made depending on the most viable or profitable one. This testing method has helped improve our efficiency and team communication. But, here not getting feedback on your idea, or employee’s view of your decision-making procedure can be a huge blindspot.
I realized this when we adopted a 360 feedback survey system. It made me aware of some who liked more personalized solutions, rather than two viable alternatives. I think giving and receiving feedback becomes crucial when making decisions. It encourages more diverse and inclusive solutions, and helps leaders rectify their methods.
Deepa Tailor, Tailor Law