Take ‘4R’ test before deciding

Decision-making is a key role of leaders. And even though you make decisions, their effectiveness depends on when and how the decision is made, not just that it was made.

When you get close to making a decision, apply this “4R Test” for leaders:

Regret. What will you regret if you fail to act and are wrong? The more serious the potential regret, the sooner you should make your decision.

Repeal. How hard would it be to reverse course? The easier a decision is to repeal, the sooner you can make it.

Repercussions. Who will be affected? The broader and deeper the impact, the more carefully you should consider the decision. Try to account for less obvious stakeholders and anticipate unintended consequences.

Difficult People D

Resilience. Can you bounce back if it goes awry? Favor options that accommodate or build resilience.

— Adapted from “The Four Rs of High-Stakes Decision Making,” Eric McNulty, strategy+business.