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Are you a SMART coach? How to Lead Through Effective Decision-Making (for Coaches and Entrepreneurs)

“Should I pick this niche that’s more aligned with my strengths, or the other one that has higher potential for profit?”

“Should I accept all potential clients for the sake of income, or be selective to ensure a good fit?”

“Do I allocate more time to ongoing education, or focus on current skills?”

Decision making – one of the toughest things you’ll ever face in your mission as a leader and coach-trepreneur.

Do you also struggle to make decisons?

I was asked to do an article for the Health Magazine ( a while ago and was asked several questions about the value of decision-making. Reflecting back on it recently, I realized how pertinent these questions might be to the coaches, entrepreneurs, and leaders on my email list.

Below are some of the questions and answers featured in the article.

I’ve renamed it: How to Lead Through Effective Decision-Making (a Guide for Coaches and Entrepreneurs) 👇

  1. “Why’s decision-making so tough?”

My mentor once told me a story about a boy picking up shells while walking with his father along the beach one day.

As they continued their walk, the boy kept collecting the different kinds of shells he came across until he spotted a beautiful, bright-orange starfish.

The boy was ecstatic  – this was the most special thing he’d seen all day! But to his fathers surprise, he hesitated.

He knew his boy wasn’t afraid to pick up the starfish, and he soon realized his boys dilemma:

Picking up the starfish required something painful.

Letting. Go.

To have the starfish he’d need to let go of (some of) his prized collection of shells already occupying all the space his little arms availed.

That is why decision-making is hard.

It requires letting go of something, and stepping into the unknown. We humans don’t like that.

And in a world fueled by the human drive for instant gratification, it’s become that much more difficult to make decisions.

  1. “Why’s decision-making so IMPORTANT?”

The quality of our lives are shaped by the quality of the choices we make.

But what if you don’t know, in any given scenario, what the best decision is?

When faced with this dilemma, we tend to freeze and get stuck in analysis paralysis.

We overthink – sinking deeper and deeper into the sinking sand of indecision with every frantic thought…

And sometimes it’s tempting to feel that, not making a decision, is the best option…

On one of our visits to Cape Town for a family vacation one year, we had a series 3 Land Rover (AKA “Landy”) as our main mode of transport. It’s super old and if you’ve ever driven one of these, you’ll know – the steering does NOT come easy!

Most times we have the Landy parked on a slope, in between other cars, and with the wheels turned in the wrong direction.

It’s an awkward position and it feels impossible to navigate your way out.

If you struggle enough with it, you realize something simple but interesting:

There’s no use in trying to correct the steering while standing still.

Your best chance at navigating this heavy piece of machinery is to start MOVING

As the vehicle gains momentum (even if the wheels are initially set in the wrong direction) the steering loosens up and it becomes easier to change direction with the steering wheel. 

In fact, everything about driving and navigating the Landy becomes MUCH easier

…when in motion.

Making decisions is like driving this old Land Rover.

The key to success is moving forward (even if it’s in the wrong direction), gaining momentum, failing, making adjustments along the way, and ultimately growing and becoming a better driver!

Sometimes making a wrong decision is better than not making any decision at all. (read that again).

That’s tough. But that’s leadership.

Leaders make a decision. Then they navigate it towards the best possible outcome.

  1. “Is this a skill we can learn and that should be taught to our kids? Or is it personality driven?”

Five months before my wedding in 2014, I challenged myself to try gain as much muscle as possible in those 5 months (…if only I had the time now that I had back then)

I was at the gym (almost daily) with my brother-in-law and a close friend of ours.

Soon I discovered that there were certain muscles in our individual physiques that were naturally more endowed than others.

For me personally, it was my leg muscles that were naturally stronger than, say for example, my bicep muscles.

This meant that although I needed to work harder in the gym on my arms (than on my legs), they were all muscles that could be developed over time. 

And on my wedding day, my physique was totally transformed (I even needed a different sized ring than the one fitted 5 months prior).

Decision-making IS a skill, and developing it is much the same as developing your muscles in a gym.

And the gym for decision-making? Life.

It’s a skill that can (and should) be developed by everyone who seeks to grow and lead.

A skill especially crucial for children to learn from as early on as possible.

  1. “How could a lack of decision-making skills impact one’s future?”

In 2006, I got ran over by a car.

Having escaped the accident with only a broken leg and a few bad scrapes, I was Lucky (and thankful) to be alive.

That summer was spent with me in a full-leg cast – not fun!

About 6 weeks later (which felt like an eternity), the cast was removed, and what amazed me was how much skinnier this leg was compared to the other (which I had been using).

The lesson? If you don’t use it, you lose it.

Same with decision-making. If you fall into the trap of indecision and analysis paralyses, it becomes a habit, and eventually you become that person that always freezes when faced with difficult decisions.

Someone like that can never lead their lives, let alone, anyone else.

This memory serves is a sobering reminder to myself in times where I’m faced with tough choices.

  1. “What are some practical tips for mastering decision-making for greater leadership success?”

   Tip #1: Take responsibility

Fully embrace these realities:

– You must make decisions. Even not making a decision, is making one

– If you refuse to make your own decisions, others will make them for you (goodbye freedom and independence)

– Sometimes making a decision in the wrong direction is better than not making a decision at all

   Tip #2: Pay the price

You’re always sacrificing one thing in favor of another (the cost of choosing one thing, is the unlimited number of it’s alternatives).

Making these trade-offs are a reality (and necessity) of life.

If you want to grow and lead, be willing to make these trade-offs.

Independently making decisions allows you to grow in wisdom, and to ultimately make smarter decisions for yourself and others.

   Tip #3: Define solid values and a compelling vision for your life

These act as a lens and become the filter through which we make decisions. 

Simply put, the stronger your values and deeper your vision, the better your decision making capability.

   Tip #4: Assess the benefits against the costs

AKD do a cost-benefit analysis.

The next time you’re faced with a tough choice: 

  1. Define your core values and priorities
  2. List the costs and benefits of each of the available choices 
  3. Consider each option in terms of your core values and priorities 
  4. Make your choice, develop a simple strategy for execution (if necessary), and take ACTION (nothing changes until you do)
  5. Evaluate your decision (remember – evaluated experience is the best teacher

Laying out the options and filtering them through the lens of your values, priorities, and the costs and benefits will help you gain clarity, increase personal ownership, and improve your confidence.

What tough decisons are you currently faced with that need to be made? 

What can you do to engage these challenges for the best possible outcome?

My name is Warren. My mission is simple:

Help women coaches get PAID clients, STAND out, and build an authentic coaching business that generates Consistent Income, and that gives them the freedom and control to do what they love full-time (and change the world in their own unique way)

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