The DNA of Great Decision Making

If you’re a leader, or… honestly… just a living, breathing human being, you make important decisions every day. And with every decision you make comes the pressure to make the right choice. That can seem daunting––even overwhelming at times. That’s why, this week, John Maxwell is going to teach four important components of great decision-making. This really is a practical lesson that you won’t want to miss!

For the application portion of the episode, Mark Cole and Chris Goede discuss a specific important decision they have recently wrestled through and how John’s principles rang true through the decision-making process. They also discuss the importance of vision casting and why leaders need to create environments where it is safe for the people to fail.

Our BONUS resource for this episode is the “DNA of Great Decision-Making Worksheet,” which includes fill-in-the-blank notes from John’s teaching. You can download the worksheet by clicking “Download the Bonus Resource” below.


Mark Cole:       Hey, my friends, my podcast family, Mark Cole here. Welcome back to another episode of the Maxwell Leadership Podcast, or by the way, maybe your first time, we have a lot of first time listeners each and every week. We're glad you are here. We've been waiting on you and we're glad you're here today. You are in for an incredible lesson from John C. Maxwell today. In fact, Jake told us right before we were going to listen to this that this was one of his favorite that we've had in a while and Jake, I agree with you. This lesson called the DNA of Great Decision Making is going to be a lesson that will impact you. By the way, if you're a leader or really, if you're just a living, breathing, human being, we have to make decisions every single day of our life. With every decision we make, there's the pressure to know if we making the right decision, if we made the right decision and what needs to be considered to make that best decision. It can seem daunting.

In fact, sometimes overwhelming, but yet today, the Maxwell podcast is going to help you with decision making. So John's going to teach a very important lesson, give you four things to consider in decision making. After John is done teaching, I have my friend, your friend, Chris Goede, he's also the co-host of the John Maxwell Executive Leadership Podcast. You need to subscribe to that as well. Chris and I will come back and give application to what John is teaching us in today's lesson. If you would like to take some notes, if you'd like to follow along with John, you can go to and download the free Bonus Resource, which is a fill in the blank PDF where you can follow along and fill in blanks with John. So here is John Maxwell.

John Maxwell:  Let me give you what I consider to be the DNA of good decision making. Number one, evidence. In other words, I'm speaking about specific facts that can be independently verified. Beware, this is an important statement, this next one. Beware of overconfidence. Think about the last time you made a decision that turned out poorly. You probably were confident about your decision, otherwise you wouldn't have made it. But confidence and accuracy don't necessarily go hand in hand according to marketing professors, Jay Wesley Hutchinson at the Wheaton School of the University of Pennsylvania and Joseph W. Alba of the University of Florida in Gainesville. That's because... Here's a statement. You need to underline this in your notes, this next statement, really helps us understand why evidence is important. Here we go. Accuracy reflects what we know, while confidence reflects what we think we know.

So therefore, if I'm making decisions just based on confidence, I could be wrong. Here are some tips to detect over-confidence in yourself and others who are bringing you critical information needed to make a decision. Dig deep when someone is very confident of a prediction. He's likely to be over-confident. Beware of people who mull over decision without obtaining new information or insight. Probe for the basis of someone's belief. We all assume our information is correct. The so-called truth bias. Assume a 20% chance of being wrong when there's a slight uncertainty that allows you to consider the consequences. Take a hard look at your areas of expertise and find the boundaries of your knowledge. Then watch for overconfidence in yourself and others when you're outside those limits. Test your opinions by looking for information that challenges your beliefs or facts, rather than looking for information that supports your opinions.

You do not have this in your notes, but I'm going to just read one more thing to you. If you wait to make an important decision until all information that you might want is in, you will never make the decision in time. Depending on the risk that are at stake, you have to settle for 75, 70 or 65% of the information that you need and on the basis of what you have, make your decision and go because the time, the cost of getting say the last 25% are not commensurate with what you might gain by deferring the decision. So the first DNA of a good decision maker is they insist on evidence.

Number two, observation. I define observation as direct experience or an understanding of the issue. And let me help you with this word experience and how it fits into observation. When observing you want to do three things, think and observe, see and observe, and do and observe. While all three methods, thinking, seeing and doing can be applied to some decisions, their strengths and weaknesses make them more appropriate in specific cases. Here's how you make the right move. Think first when you face clear issues, have reliable data and can apply disciplines such as when you need to make a decision about an established production process. See first when you need a creative solution that involves many elements and requires commitment such as when you're developing new products or processes.

Do first when you face a new or confusing issue when complicated specifications would get in the way and when people can move ahead with few rules, such as when you're dealing with a market decision in a new industry. Now isn't it interesting? On clear issues, think first. On confusing issues do first. I have found that those three little statements, if you'll study them on your own, will be very helpful in observing correctly and pulling out of experiences what you want to pull out.

Okay. The third part of the DNA of a good decision maker, number three is feedback. Impressions gleaned from asking others for their input about a decision. The most effective decisions flow from your ability to ask the right person, the right question at the right time. Now, folks, I'm going to repeat that sentence. You need to underline it. The most effective decisions flow from your ability to ask the right person, the right question at the right time. As long as you know where to look for relevant information and you can verify the accuracy of what you have learned, you'll be well positioned to evaluate all sides of an issue and make sensible judgment. Let me explain to you what I mean by asking the right person about the right issue.

I have some wonderful friends that when I need to make an important decision, I call them. Now most of them don't live near me so I have to get on the phone and I'll take maybe 20 minutes and set up the context of the issue and then I'll ask them, "What would you do if you were in my shoes?" If it's a business decision. I mean, if it's a pure business decision, I talk to my brother. He's the best businessman I know, highly successful. And when he shares with me business decision making thinking, I'm one more time aware that he understands business like I understand leadership. Now, in all decisions I talk to my wife, Margaret, because I always want her to be in the thinking game with me. And I find that a lot of times, because she knows my weaknesses because we've been together for so long, she'll help me to understand the error of my thinking.

Now, very simply, all I'm saying is, for feedback, I go to different people for different reasons and I would encourage you. If you have to make five or six different kinds of decisions, find a person that's good at each one of those kind of decisions and basically when you have to make a certain decision, call that person, and you're going to find that it's a tremendous asset to you. It's feedback, but it's asking the right question to the right person. Remember this, asking the right question does you no good if you ask the wrong person. I know nothing about technology. Nobody ever asks me anything about technology. In fact, when they're talking around the office about computers and all that other stuff, I'm not in the meeting. I have no clue.

So for them to ask me a question that I know nothing about, even though I'm a good leader, I won't help them at all right. Right question, directed to the right person will give you tremendous feedback. Let's go on. In your notes, when faced with a decision, what's the best way to define the situation.? For Dean Hohl, president of Leading Concepts Incorporated, it requires asking the following question. How much time do I have? How confidential is the information? Who has the expertise? How much buy-in do I need? Is there a teaching opportunity? Is there an opportunity for the team to work and grow together? And finally, how important, critical, valuable is the decision?

Number four, I'm still talking about the DNA of a good decision maker. Number four, intuition. I define intuition as evaluating the intangible elements of the decision through it. The ability to take those things, which are intangible and say, this probably makes sense to me. For example, every one of us have taken multiple choice tests. In multiple choice usually there may be four different answers. Almost immediately, if a person knows the subject at all, two of the answers are ridiculous and you just cross those out almost immediately. But the other two answers are kind of close. One's right. One may be close. What they have discovered in decision making with multiple choices, usually what intuitively you think is the right answer immediately is the right answer.

But if you wait for a while and really go back and forth, they have discovered that normally you'll take the second best answer instead of the first best answer. In other words, go with your intuitive mind. Go with your intuitive gut. In your notes, if your mind says "Yes," but your heart says, "No," don't. That's good advice. Here's what I'm saying. If your mind says, "Yes, we ought do this," but your heart says, "Eh, this isn't a good thing," probably what's happening is the decision may be a good decision, but it may not fit who you are. It may be something that doesn't fit your values. Here's what I say about the heart and here's what I say about the mind. The mind is what we think with. And the heart of course, is what we feel. Here's what I say. Always make your mind and heart line up. Don't allow one to get out of whack with the other.

Mark Cole:       Hey, welcome back. I know you enjoyed John Maxwell's podcast today. The content today, just from a leader, Chris was really applicable. It's not only applicable to some of the application you and I will give today, but every single day, isn't it true that those of us that sit in leadership roles, we have to make decisions and boy, the contemplation of whether it's a good decision or a bad decision can sometimes paralyze us.

Chris Goede:     Yeah. And he's speaking right to me. I know as you introduce saying is one of Jake's favorites and you agree, but man, I was sitting there taking notes going, "Man, this is about me." And I think what's interesting too, John makes it sound so simple, right? But yet our decisions as leaders, the further that we go and you're experiencing this in your leadership, they're not simple and they have a lot of things that are tied to it. A lot of hair on it and so we tend to get in this and you know, me. We'll talk a little bit about this, because you've coached me through this. I tend to go in a little bit of a paralysis by analysis and not make a decision, which John has encouraged me, you've encouraged me over the years of, "Chris, not making a decision is making a decision and that's a bad decision." So man, yeah. I'm looking forward to unpacking this with you.

Mark Cole:       Well, and perhaps even a little differently, we always my portion with my co-host, whether it's Jason, Tracy are today my incredible pleasure of bringing you Chris Goede, which by the way I said at the beginning, you need to subscribe to the John Maxwell Executive Leadership Podcast that Chris and Perry do every single week. It will help you as an executive leader, but Chris, I try every week in this segment to bring about relevant current application. And as you and I were listening to John, both of our minds were racing to leadership decisions that we've made this week. And so we're going to do something perhaps a little bit more intense in its nature of taking one example and applying what John has done. Because as you know, Chris and I co-serve on the leadership team that is stewarding John Maxwell's legacy. We call it the John Maxwell Enterprise and Chris serves alongside of me as one of our executives on our leadership team.

And just this week when we're recording the podcast, we had on Monday of this week, we had what we call a Vision Leadership meeting. It's my meeting. It's the meeting to where I, as the chief vision officer of the John Maxwell Enterprise shares the vision, reminds the vision, gives a new wrinkle to the vision, puts expectations around vision implementation or direction of the company to chase the vision. And it's my four hour meeting a month to rally the troops around the vision. Two days later, we have another very consistent meeting in our meeting repertoire, which is our execution meeting. Now don't get freaked out. We don't kill anybody. We don't terminate anybody. It is an operational meeting to determine execution excellence. And so our COO, our CFO runs that, Norwood, and this week, unlike usual, we had this in the same week.

And then, Chris, what we will talk a little bit out is 24 hours later, we were having a third unplanned meeting to figure out why there was a disconnect between Monday's meeting and Wednesday's meeting. And you and I got to participate in all three. And so today I want to talk about it because we're making big decisions and leaders, my and Chris attempt is not to air out our laundry or even to be self-absorbed in making this podcast about us. It really is to show you behind the scenes how John's organization applies his content. So Chris, I want to launch into that as I told you and talk a little bit about this in a very unique, applicable way.

Chris Goede:     Yeah. I think as I hear you talk about that, and I think about the fact that we were in three meetings in the week, even you making the decision, we're going to get to making the decision to have that third meeting is part of today. What I love about this is this is going to be very practical. This is going to be very applicable to leaders around the world that are listening to this. You're going to be probably shaking your head as you're listening to Mark and I going, "Oh my gosh, we're normal. We have the same issues because it comes down from a vision, from communication and then getting caught up in the details. And so let's jump in Mark. Let's set the stage and John talks about the first point here. He talks about evidence, right? And specific facts that can be independently verified of where we're going.

And let's talk a little bit about... Set the stage on what you did for the team and our leadership team and your vision and where we're going so that they understand where we were on the first meeting. And then let's talk about how we, as a leadership team began to mull over decisions we had to make that got us away from that and ended up having to have that third meeting. So set the stage for our listeners and we'll unpack this as we go through it.

Mark Cole:       Yeah. And so we're in a really exciting time in John's enterprise. John is more actively engaged in our organization than he's ever been. He has more vision, more opportunities. We truly are in a season in John's organizations where we're reaping 40 plus years of great decisions and consistency of brand that John has been sowing these seeds and watering these seeds. And now it is like harvest time. The opportunities are incredible. And so we have a statement around here, Chris, called, we are going to be bigger, which talks about our growth. We're going to be better, which talks about our passion to be salt. We want to be salt. We want to season things and make things better. And then we want to be brighter, which talks about light. We're salt and light, which is a real cool statement that John has said, "We want to be brighter. We want to be better."

And so have a real big statement around that and we're trying big things. And so on Monday of this week, I'm casting the vision of big things. Hey gang, we're investing in people, we're investing in technologies, we're investing in systems that will set us up for bigger things. So in your meetings, be thinking bigger, better, brighter. Be thinking bigger, better brighter and as you know, two days later... By the way, let me say this, leaders. I've got more than 75% confidence in our evidence that we can be better. I don't have 100%. We've got a lot to figure out, Chris, but we have precedent and we have a brand and we have momentum that gives me great confidence that by this time next year, we will be bigger, better and brighter. I know this. Now, do I know exactly every step we're going to have to take to get there?

No, that falls into the 15 to 25% that John was talking about, but there's enough momentum, enough excitement that when I'm investing in technologies with the same revenues that we've had in 2019 or 2020, I'm doing that with a large degree of confidence because I have 65 to 75% evidence as John taught us here. What we did in a meeting 48 hours later is we went to the 25% of decisions and things that we do not have and allowed the lack of clarity on those things to limit the creativity needed to figure those things out. And so you were in that second meeting. I was not, but it was a meeting to where we got focused on the practicalities of delivering on something. And at the end of the meeting, you know this, you were in the meeting, we decided to shrink back and not embrace the vision, but embrace the facts as they have been in the last two years, rather than in the opportunity of what our vision can take us to in the next 12 months.

Chris Goede:     Yeah. And what I don't want to miss what you talked about right there, because people could say, "Well, listen, Hey, sometimes I want to be over confident in the vision, but what you said is you have data, you have facts, evidence 75%, maybe even greater than that, of where we are going that we can get there as our leader. You weren't just throwing us... Listen, we've all worked sometimes for leaders that we throw stuff up on the board and we just go, "Oh man, I don't know, right. A little bit over confident. It's not going to go hand in hand as John talked about, but that's not the case here. And what ended up happening was that as a leadership team, without you in that meeting, we began to get in the nitty gritty of the 15 to 20 to 25%, which then derailed the evidence that we had have of where we're going and the impact that we're going to have on people around the world in 6, 12, 18, 24 months out.

And so we allowed the smaller percentage of the unknown to detract us from the vision of that you've casted for us as a leader and so we began to get derailed and then once you begin to do that, we began to spiral down even into the nitty gritty of things, which then called us to have the third meeting.

Mark Cole:       And so, I know all of our podcast listeners do not get the incredible privilege and yet heavy responsibility of vision casting. But let me speak directly to those of you that do have the responsibility of vision casting for just a moment. Don't allow your passion for your vision to be diminished by the reality of the hard work it's going to take to see that vision happen. So I'm not discrediting the fact that we had contracts and things to figure out. I've seen too many leaders that they cast the vision and forgot that it was going to take work to accomplish that vision. They don't realize the difficulty. So, leaders don't be insensitive to the work, but there are times to where you cannot allow you or your team to be pulled back into the 15 to 20% of difficulty to accomplish the vision. You've got to keep people focused on the confidence you have that you are going to see the vision.

Jake just provided a great quote. I don't know who to attribute this to. So if you Google it, whoever you attribute it to, it's theirs, it's not mine. But it's this. Popularity does not validate a belief. Evidence does. Popularity does not. And my team, our team, Chris, mine and your team on Monday, we're flying high, we're high fiving. We're going to go invest $2.1 million in infrastructure to get us to the vision. On Wednesday, we were scared to sign up for $500,000 to stretch ourself toward that vision. So here's what I'm saying. Don't let true evidence... We were working with true evidence on Wednesday, but leaders don't ever leave your post to keep people's eyes fixed on the vision and what you, Chris, allowed me to do and we can move to another point or two that John did. But what you allowed me to do with a pre meeting, we'll talk about in a meet in a moment, you allowed me to keep my post of keeping everybody's vision of eyes focused on the vision from Monday.

Chris Goede:     Yeah. And I want to say one thing, even just backing out of this scenario. Something, Mark, that you have coached me on, mentored me through our relationship of leading together. I tend to be on the disk, as people are aware in the C category. I'm an analyzer on another assessment that we use, which means as I started off the podcast, sometimes I have a little bit of paralysis and you had me go through this exercise. This is a couple years ago. I don't know if you'll remember this and leaders, if you with this, I just want to encourage you to do this.

He said, "Chris, what I want you to do is I want you to write down the decision you'd make," and this goes to that intuitive part that John mentions here in the fourth point but, "write down immediately what is the decision that you would make. With the evidence you have, where you're at, your intuition as a leader, write it out. Now, Chris, take your time because," that's how you go, right. "Now, take your time, go do your stuff. Do all this stuff. Gather more data for me. It's the back 25%. And then I want you to record what is that decision you would've made after that? And then I want you to come back and I want you to tell me the difference."

And man, I had to come in with my tail between my legs and come back and say, "Mark man, over 95% of the time they're the same." He's like, "Good start making decisions quicker." And so leaders, I just wanted to give that as another personal example that came to my mind as Mark and I are talking through this from a leadership standpoint that... Do that exercise. If you have a hard time making a decision, do that exercise. Now-

Mark Cole:       Hey, can I say one thing on that, Chris?

Chris Goede:     Absolutely. Yeah.

Mark Cole:       Yesterday I was on an interview with a Charlotte television station, PBS station, and then some news outlets yesterday on the idea of The Dirty F Word. The Dirty F Word. It's a book that's coming out and what's your immediate thought? Don't say it out loud those of you in podcast land. Get your mind out of the gutter because the dirty word they're talking about that starts with F is failure. Let me tell you something what Chris just said. He said 90, 95% of the time, he came back with the same decision. On the 5% that he did come up with a different decision, if I can still challenge Chris, especially in the role I have you in Chris of business development. You're heading up all of our business development initiatives. If I can get Chris to operate much quicker and create an environment that even in those 5% of the time that his analyzed decision would've been better, therefore he failed or he misdid it or he acted too fast and it wasn't the best decision.

The second responsibility of a leader in addition to casting vision, is create an environment that it is safe for people to fail. If Chris will act, 95% of the time, his first thought's going to be right. The 5% that's not, I hope he feels so safe and so celebrated here that he goes, "Wow, it's fun to fail around here. It's rewarding to fail around here," because we've created that environment. You know what? It goes back to a podcast we had Chris with Andy Stanley. Incredible communicator. He wrote a book called Better Decisions, Fewer Regrets and we did a whole podcast on that to where when we can make better decisions, we will have fewer regrets. Well, sometimes those decisions have to be based on vision rather than on stats. That's in that 65, 70% of the time that John's talking about. I've seen too many times to where we overanalyze the decision and we killed the vision in the process. If you want to hear Andy Stanley talk about that the link to that's in the show notes. Go to We list out everything in our show notes.

Chris Goede:     I appreciate you sharing that. So let's move on to the second point that John talks about in this observation. What I love about this is it's almost a filter for you. It's part of a filter, a decision making filter as you're observing that you can go through. And let's go back to, Mark, specifically our leadership team this week and the meetings we had. I want to talk about how... John says, think first, when you face clear issues, see first when you need a creative solution, but what I want you to unpack a little bit about what you saw from a leader's seat was this third one, which is do first when you face a new or confusing issue, which that's what ended up happening for us as leaders, right? We got into our operational meeting 48 hours after we cast this vision and we began getting into some confusing issues that allowed us to backtrack versus actually do. Talk a little bit about that as you observed your leadership team go through that as an observation this week.

Mark Cole:       Yeah, what's funny, Chris, is I was listening to John teach today on the podcast because that's what Chris and I do before we unpack it and apply it. We go and listen to what you are listening to and then apply it the way we have been applying it. And so I already knew I wanted to do a case study on how you and I led together today, Chris, in the first point. But the second point further solidified it. I mean, when I saw this, because here's what we're doing. For those of you that are very familiar with us, we are in the middle of re-imagining, how we can impact certified trainers, speakers, coaches that are all over the world and we're going to further empower them and we want to do that in a significant way in the next 12 months. So that's the scenario and we're going to do that.

Some of it's going to be confusing. A lot of it's going to be new. And what we were doing is we were trying to think about new and confusing or trying to see it before we would be able to act. And what John is saying right here, when you're facing a new or confusing issue, start moving, stop analyzing, start moving because clarity comes with movement in confusion and in new things. We have a success cycle that we teach around here that really is all about the idea of testing something, doing something, analyzing something recalibrating or improving it, and then doing it all over again.

We've taught that in other podcasts, but in this setting, I sense that we did more thinking and seeing after Monday's meeting, rather than getting in there and doing, and that's what John is talking about. Too many of us Cs, Chris, or even us operational people, and I'm one of those in some ways, we try to figure a new thing out before we have tested and failed and learned and reentered. In a new thing. We need to start moving in the direction and be willing to figure out that 25-35% that John was talking about earlier on the way toward the decision that we've made.

Chris Goede:     Yeah. I love what you said, which is we've got to start moving and here's the deal. Mark, you and I and John have had the privilege of being in meetings and spending some time with Carly Fiorina and she talks about the fact that leaders solve problems, right? And I want to give another example coming out of the conversation that we had in our third meeting. Leaders, listen.

We have to understand and anticipate consequences of decisions. No doubt about that. We're not saying make the decision and then just do, and you're going... We got to understand that, but then it's our responsibility to figure out how do we overcome them? How do we solve those problems? And it was interesting because even in our third meeting, one of our incredible leaders on our team was like, "Got it. Nope, got it. Missed it, we're on it. We're going to figure it out." And all of a sudden, right, we just got a little bit off track. We redirected as a team and came together. And so I just want to encourage leaders to understand that as you make decisions, to Mark's point they're not going to be perfect, we are going to make mistakes. They are going to probably create more problems. Good. Go solve those problems. Be a doer. He gives us that feedback.

Well, listen, I want to move on to the final point because I think that I want to discuss with our listeners today, just to hear your voice on this, Mark, because you had the incredible privilege of growing your leadership some 21 years plus with John and I think his last thing about getting feedback. You've seen John live this. I now see you live this in what we call the outer circle.

John talks about having an inner circle and an outer circle. Maybe it's even expanded outside the outer circle and he talks about, I love his comment about technology. I think you and I both caught eyes and we're like, [crosstalk 00:33:35] That's absolutely true. No one asked John anything about technology. I'm so proud of him though. You and I were at dinner the other night with him, and you said to the table, "John, I'm so proud of how quick you found that on your iPhone," right? Like that's technology, but asking the right question to the wrong person is really... It's detrimental as a leader of what you feel called in your vision.

All of the decision that you are having to make and the feedback because you are a collaborative leader that you're receiving. Talk a little bit about... John gives us great questions and great thoughts around this, but I want you to just live this out personally for us and where you're at in your leadership as we wrap up this last podcast. How do you go about doing that and receiving feedback so that it keeps you aligned with where you feel called to lead the organization?

Mark Cole:       Well, here's what's interesting, Chris, because I'm going to stay right in this week in what you and I experienced when I answer your question. I'm incredibly blessed to have a mentor in John. I mean, John is as active, even more active in the organization today than he's ever been. And so I've got John, this mentor, I've got Kimberly, which I don't even see her as an executive assistant. She's an executive partner. I've worked hard to get her to think like I do. I've got a contrarian as a CFO that is always going to challenge me of how quickly I really can get to market with my vision or my ideas. And then I have other roles. I mean, so when I got phone calls on that second meeting, I wasn't in it. And I got phone calls saying, "Hey, I don't think this meeting got where we want to go."

I started getting feedback from everybody. John and I were out of state. I even spent a flight with John to talking about how he used his woo to get people to catch his vision when operationally they couldn't see it. I mean, he mentored me for one hour, Chris. You would've loved to have been there. I got feedback from all these different sources, but I'll be honest with you. I wasn't ready to have that 7:00 AM or 8:00 AM called third meeting until I talked to one more person that happened to be you. And you're my business development guy. And my greatest concern when I had all the conversations the Wednesday, the day of the operational meeting, my concern is I kept hearing people telling us operationally why we couldn't get there. And I wanted to hear from my business development guy who I want champion, we can get there. We'll figure this out if you'll give me enough time and enough resources, we will get this figured out, Mark.

You've told me that a dozen times and somehow in that meeting, Chris, I didn't hear anybody giving me that kind of feedback. So before our Zoom special called meeting, I came and sit in your office. And I said, "Chris, tell me your take on yesterday's meeting." That's exactly how I opened up mine and your conversation. Within three minutes, I got verification that everything everybody else had told me was right. I expanded it to the people from their perspective that should have gotten the point, may have gotten the point and didn't catch it, but I wanted that third perspective. And too many leaders they either bulldoze their way through their vision and leave carnage along the way, or they stay true to their vision, despite it not being popular to the quote Jake provided, but they make sure they get input to make sure they're not missing something.

Here's John's favorite question to ask me, Chris, and all your podcast listeners probably already know where I'm going. John issues vision and direction quicker than any leader I have ever met in my life. He is so fast. He's so fast because he knows with [Woo 00:37:29], even if it doesn't work out exactly, he'll get us there.

He's just got that kind of confidence. But after every edict, after every vision, after every decision, John will look at me, his right hand and he'll say this question right here. "What am I missing?" He gives me one more chance to speak into it before he walks into a meeting even if it's not going to be a popular meeting. Chris, would you on Thursday before the third, and I hope final meeting but I know it's not going to be final. Before the third meeting, I walked into my business development guy and I said, "Chris, what am I missing?" And you basically told me, "You're not missing anything. We got to fix this. We got to get it right." And you empowered me to go back and repeat Monday's message. That's what John's talking about when he says, "Get feedback." What am I missing should be the most frequent question a visionary, top leaders ask of their people. "What am I missing? "

Chris Goede:     Yeah, that's the question is you were unpacking. I knew you were going to go to that because there's no doubt about that. And what's great about that is the leadership team that was on that third and final call in order to make this decision that you're challenging us with, we came out of the meeting saying we know what we were missing and you led us through that, right. And I think that is so powerful. So man, I don't know if I've enjoyed reliving this, but here's what I do hope. I do hope that leaders around the world that are listening to this, we're so grateful for you, but I hope this resonated with you because, Mark and I have the privilege of being a part of an incredible team. We stand on the shoulder of John and being a part of what we believe is the number one leadership organization in the world. And we deal with issues like this every day.

And so we just wanted to come and unpack this as we heard our lesson just a few minutes ago. This is off the cuff for us and resonated. We hope you learned something and from it. So Mark, just take a minute, close this up. But thanks again for allowing me to be a part of this with you today.

Mark Cole:       Yeah, thank you, Chris. And I don't typically do this either, but what you and I are going to get to share next week, John's doing a lesson on trust busters and trust builders and, Chris, you and I'll get a chance to get you back in studio and unpack this with me for next week. But I've really enjoyed this podcast. I hope we did not get so personal or so in the weeds with something that Chris and I are working through together, that we became irrelevant for you because our goal at the Maxwell podcast, this leadership podcast is designed to help you lead, live, love, learn, and grow all at the same time, but don't miss the point to learn and live and love people and listen to people before you lead.

Too many visionaries have the vision they see more and before, and they think they can overcome other people's need to be involved, to be heard before they lead because it's their prerogative. It's their position. It's their right. And the point of this today, this meeting was all about the DNA of good decision making, not of decision making, but of good decision making.

We hope we've added value to you today. Please as always leave us a comment at Forward this episode to others you think it will help and subscribe because we want to add value to you again next week. But until then, take this lesson and add value to others and multiply values so that together we make a difference through leadership.

3 thoughts on “The DNA of Great Decision Making”

  1. “I loved this podcast. So great during this season in my life, like all the podcasts are. I tune in weekly and have for awhile now wanted to express my sincere thanks and appreciation of this podcast. #markcole #johnmaxwell and all the other amazing hosts and behind the scenes workers (Jake!, Jason!). I‘ve reflected many times and wanted to share my thoughts, comments, and stories of my development. Finally committed to doing it now. I can’t tell you the number of episodes that have impacted my life and challenged my daily development and improvement…some friends call my growth “palpable”. I love watching my strengths grow and seeing the value I’m adding to the people in my life and those I connect with. I love to share every week a take away I learn from MwM and post to my company’s social media platform. Love sharing, learning, leading, and being apart of this amazing podcast family. #mypeople. Let’s continue to learn, lead, add value, and not forget—provide APPLICATION. 🙂 #lovetracimarrowsshoes, #p90x!

    1. Joshua, thank you so much for your comment! This is exactly why we do what we do: to add value to leaders who multiply value to others. Thanks for listening to the podcast, allowing it to help you grow, and passing it on to those you lead!

  2. What an awesome time for this broadcast in my life. This helped me go from feeling sorry for myself because of a so called leader in my life abandoning me to having John remind me that I am responsible for my own success. Thank you John, Mark& Chris.

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