Your Move: Making Tough Decisions

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Digital Library > Building and Inspiring an Organization > Decision making"Your Move: Making Tough Decisions"




Scott Pemberton
Business owners striving to grow their companies make myriad decisions. Improving the quality of your decisions is vital to taking your company to the next level.

We recently made the tough decision to stop producing the print version of the Edward Lowe PeerSpectives Report. It was a decision born of economics and strategy that we believe, though painful, is the right move for the Edward Lowe Foundation and the entrepreneurial community we serve.

PeerSpectives Report does its job extremely well, bringing second-stage entrepreneurs together in print to learn from each other. Insightful editorials, telling photos and a quick-read format brought praise from readers and numerous honors.

Ed Lowe and his wife, Darlene, also a successful entrepreneur, created this foundation in 1985 to "champion the entrepreneurial spirit." Unfortunately, national economic conditions have forced us to rethink our strategy and change how we fulfill that mission.

The PeerSpectives message will continue to be broadcast via www.edwardlowe.org, leadership retreats at our visionary learning center at Big Rock Valley in southwestern Michigan, and direct involvement with entrepreneur support organizations nationwide.

What is that message? First, second-stage business owners learn valuable lessons from each other. Second, such learning can take their companies to the next level by helping them make better decisions. And, third, high-growth second-stage companies are key drivers of the economy that need much more encouragement.

We believe the most important step CEOs can take to improve their decision-making is to join a group of their fellow owners, CEOs and presidents. Connecting with your peers in scheduled, facilitated roundtables will help you make better decisions. And better decisions make a better company.

But how does gaining such "peerspectives" solve the decision-making puzzle? At least three pieces must fit together.

Information: The facts and figures that ground your potential choices can come as faint blips or eardrum-popping bombs, as formal financial reports or serendipitous conversations with your peers.

Insight: A clear sense of where you're going, how you're going to get there and why you want to go there at all — call it strategic planning, branding or entrepreneurial passion. A trusted peer group that understands your vision is a powerful performance compass.

Intuition: The comfort zone that sometimes begins the decision-making process and often ends it. Intuition whispers, "This path just feels right," and develops from accumulated experience. Peer groups accelerate this process by offering a wealth of experiences to tap as CEOs use the group's collective wisdom.

To gain your own "peerspectives," join a committed, well-run peer group — or create one. Your fellow owners will help ensure that your tough decisions turn out to be good decisions too.

Writer: Scott Pemberton is the publisher of the Edward Lowe PeerSpectives Report and the director of programs for the Edward Lowe Foundation. Continue to tell him about your moves at scott@lowe.org.

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Articles in our Entrepreneur’s Resource Center appeared in print and online newsletters published previously by the foundation. More than 1,000 articles can be found in the categories below, addressing timeless challenges faced by entrepreneurs of all types.