Wednesday, April 30, 2014

How Did He Get So Smart?

I was surprised by a compliment a couple of weeks ago that got me thinking about the decision making process.  I was having lunch with a client that I have worked with for over thirty years and I commented that over that period of time he and his wife had made many good decisions, more than was usual.  The client replied that it was because of my advice over the years that they had made those good decisions.  I am not sure that I totally agree with my client on that, but it started me thinking about the decision making process itself.  We have been told that with good advice there is a better likelihood for success.  But the assumption is that the recipient will listen to the advice.

I realized that many of my more successful clients are the ones who tend to listen to advice from others and weigh it in their minds before making decisions.  Not all of the advice we receive, or give, is good advice.  However, just the practice of taking the time to listen to advice promotes the process of careful consideration in our minds, and that may make the difference between carefully thinking out our decisions and jumping to a decision too quickly.  

One of the reasons that our annual company planning retreats add so much value to our business is that during those retreats we carefully consider all sides of an issue before making a decision.  The conclusion of all this thinking is that it is important to identify people whose opinion we seek and solicit those opinions as part of our regular decision making process.  Whether you set up some formal method of obtaining that advice through regular meetings, or whether you have a less formal method of obtaining advice, will be partly a function of your business habits and partly a function of how important you think this advice is, but seeking advice in some manner is the critical thing.

Loren L McCann, CPA, MS (Tax)