Whatcha Gonna Do?

Leaders know how to make tough decisions. How do they do it?
Magazine Contributor
2 min read

This story appears in the January 2007 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

What if you had to choose between cannibalism and starvation? Between walking into an icy wilderness and staying behind to face near-certain death? In The Go Point (Crown Business, $25), Wharton Business School professor Michael Useem, author of The Leadership Moment, takes us inside the minds of people who made these and other momentous choices and reveals their thought processes.

Useem goes beyond storytelling to outline tools and techniques used by business, military and other leaders to make and execute critical calls. One five-step summation of how an airplane crash survivor saved himself and 15 companions by deciding to hike to safety goes like this: 1) Stay focused, 2) set the bar high, 3) get back to basics, 4) don't second-guess, and 5) stay cold and calculating.

Take Action
The business tips in this book have been tested in more than 12,000 companies--the number counseled since 1960 by Management Action Programs, the consulting firm Lee Froschheiser heads. In Vital Factors (Jossey-Bass, $27.95), he and co-author Paul Chutkow show how people have used MAP's Management Action Plan and Vital Factors to grow small businesses into large ones and turn troubled organizations around. Detailed and specific, the book includes forms, action plans, templates and other tools. One from the Monday Morning Action Plan that might have been written especially for entrepreneurs: "Don't wear the Big Red 'S.'"

Mark Henricks is Entrepreneur's "Staff Smarts" columnist.

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