Decisions need to be made every day. Some have minor consequences, like filling up your car with fuel at the BP or Shell station. While decisions about our health, family and work generally have much more significant consequences.
There is no perfect desion-making process, but having an approach for your bigger decisions is a good idea. Here are two quick approaches I find helpful.
Forward, Backwards, Now, and How - This process is simply deciding to practice making decisions using a process that goes like this:
Forward: Look to the outcomes you are looking for from the decisions--think best case, worst case, most likely case.
Backwards: Look back at similar decisions made in the past. How did they go? What went right and wrong? What lessons did you learn?
Now: Consider your current circumstances. What is riding on this decision? Do you have the right team? Are the resources available to get the results you want?
How: This is where you put all three things together. Use the vision of what you want to have the outcome of the decision. Ensure that painful lessons from the past are not repeated and that resources which helped you be successful in the past are aligned to support you this time.
Then the final step is to act. When you act, do so with confidence, knowing you've thought the issues through and then follow your decision as it starts to get results. If it gets the results you want, "Great!". If not, then learn quickly and adjust your approach. Sticking with a bad decision, just to prove a point is makes for one poor leader.
"When your values are clear to you, making decisions becomes easy." - Roy Disney