Richard Branson shares his rules for good decision making

The ability to make a good decision is one of the most critical skills when building a new venture, and it’s one serial entrepreneur Richard Branson says he has finessed over his 50 years in business.

In a post on the Virgin blog, Branson shares a “few general rules” that he uses to guide him on whether or not it’s the right time to “plunge” into a new opportunity.

In addition to looking beyond “first impressions” and undertaking thorough “homework”, Branson says he avoids “making decisions in isolation”.

“Every decision has some degree of impact on your ability to adopt other future opportunities in what the experts call ‘the decision stream’,” he says.

“This one may be a ‘too good to miss’ opportunity but how will it affect other projects or priorities and, if now is not the best time to do it, what risks if any are there in putting the thing on hold for an agreed period of time?”

According to Branson, stepping back to assess the bigger picture can help make the top priorities clear: Both for yourself, and for the business.

“If you cannot manage this project in addition to another that’s waiting in the wings, which one gets the nod and why?” Branson asks.

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