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Decide: Work Smarter, Reduce Your Stress, and Lead by Example

ISBN: 978-1-118-55438-8
208 pages
February 2014
Decide: Work Smarter, Reduce Your Stress, and Lead by Example (1118554388) cover image


How to make better decisions and achieve your goals

What shapes a person's career and life, and defines them as a leader? Their decisions. We all want to be more productive and deliver our best results. But doing this effectively—and consistently over time—is a significant challenge. Managing it all is hard, and leading in today's hyper-paced world is even harder.

The good news is that leadership expert Steve McClatchy makes it easier. In Decide, McClatchy—who works with Fortune 1000 people every day to help them achieve outstanding levels of performance—shows you how to cut through the complexities and excuses to start realizing real gains simply by changing one thing: the way you make decisions. With McClatchy's help, you can quickly begin to:

  • Use the time you have each day to move your business and your life forward
  • Make decisions that yield better results
  • Waste less time, reduce stress and regain balance

Again and again, McClatchy has helped people learn for themselves how great decision-making habits yield a lifetime of accomplishments. Follow McClatchy's no-nonsense and practical approach, and you'll soon manage—and even lead—at your highest level of personal performance.

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Table of Contents

Preface xv

Introduction 1

Chapter 1 Two Forms of Human Motivation: Gain and Prevent Pain 5

Prevent Pain: I Have to Do It! 9

Do I Really Have To? 11

Attributes of a Gain Task 13

Management versus Leadership 18

The One and Only Exercise I Will Ask You to Do in This Book . . . Brainstorm! 20

Chapter 2 It’s All up to You: Avoid Burnout and Create Balance 23

So Why Take on Gain? 25

The Paradox of Balance 26

Gain Is the Answer to the Balance Crisis 29

Gain and Prevent Pain Must Work Together 33

Chapter 3 Prioritizing Tasks in Relation to Results 35

A New Way to Prioritize 39

Why Is Prioritizing Important? 42

Focus on Results 44

Survival Instincts 48

Breaking Down Gain: Creation versus Consumption 50

Chapter 4 Energy and Motivation: Decide How You Will Get Yours 53

What Can Your Brain Do for You? 56

Energy from Desire: Creation and Consumption 60

Energy from Fear: Procrastination 64

The Final Judgment on Procrastination 69

Chapter 5 What Understanding the Value of Time Can Do for Your Life 73

The Value of a Minute 77

Understanding Where Our Time Goes 79

Make Better Decisions about Your Time 81

You Accomplish Gain by Getting Your Goals on Your Calendar 82

Why Does This Work? 84

Getting Your Goals on Your Calendar: The First Steps 86

Need Some Examples? 88

Leap of Faith 90

Don’t Squeeze It In 92

Chapter 6 Monthly, Weekly, and Daily Planning 95

No Time to Plan? 99

Benefits of a 5-Minute Plan 100

Make It a Habit 106

Chapter 7 Managing Interruptions 107

Stick to the Work Involved 111

Steer It Back by Interrupting Yourself 112

Set Expectations 113

Recover and Get Back to Work! 114

Work Interruptions into and out of Your Schedule 116

Return the Favor 116

Chapter 8 How to Manage It All: Time Management Implementation 117

Organizing Your Information Resources 119

Why Get Organized? 121

Decide and Commit 123

The Keys to Using a Time Management System Effectively 125

What Your System Needs to Do 126

Task Management System: To-Do Lists 127

Calendar 133

They Work Together 134

Being on Time versus Being Late 136

Information Management: Contacts and Notes 138

Touch It Once 140

Chapter 9 Take Action 141

The Power of Your Decisions 143

Decisions Are Like Rules 144

Your Decisions Determine Who You Are 144

Do You Make Leadership Decisions? 146

It’s Not a Competition 147

Building Your Identity as a Leader 149

Don’t Just Think about It. Do It! 150

You Work Too Hard Not to Get the Great Results You Deserve 152

Notes 155

Acknowledgments 157

About Alleer Training and Consulting’s Work with Clients 161

About the Author 163

Index 165

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Author Information

STEVE McCLATCHY is an international speaker, trainer, consultant, writer, and entrepreneur who has spoken before thousands of audiences who have been delighted with his entertaining style and powerful stories. He leaves each and every participant with a wealth of knowledge delivered in a fun and interactive fashion. Steve founded Alleer Training and Consulting out of his passion for adult learning and for the field of training and development. He has worked in sales, sales management, training, and consulting for such organizations as The Pillsbury Company, Broderbund Software, and Forte Systems. To learn more, visit www.SteveMcClatchy.com

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Praise for Decide

“Steve's approach is not only hugely engaging but its impact on motivation and productivity areis? immediate. His book is the next best thing to having Steve in the room. I highly recommend it!”
Christina Harper Elgarresta, Managing Director, Accenture 

“Decide delivers:  If you’re struggling to lead not just manage, if you’re frustrated that your? very best results are just beyond reach, or if you’re simply at war with your calendar, Steve McClatchy’s new book is for you.  Decide is a rare fresh take at some of the thorny problems that block our best work.  But don’t just take my word for it.  Get your own copy, and you’ll soon be ordering copies for your team as well.”
Marshall Goldsmith - America's preeminent executive coach (Fast Company magazine)

“Decide puts personal power squarely where it belongs--in your hands.  Follow Steve’s advice, and you’ll immediately see benefits that will change the way you plan, spend your time, and engage with others.  To change your trajectory and start leading in all aspects of your life, all you have to do is DECIDE.”
Mary Davis Holt Leadership coach, speaker and bestselling co-author of Break Your Own Rules

“I have worked with Steve and I can say firsthand, his approach has had a profound impact on every level of our organization.  His approach is deeply insightful and tremendously impactful. I highly recommend Steve, his approach and this book!”
Luc Robataille, President of Business Operations, Los Angeles Kings Hockey Club

"In Decide, Steve McClatchy shows us  that we can accomplish amazing things by aligning what we want to achieve with how we spend our time.  Regardless of the industry or level of the reader, real benefits will be accomplished from Steve’s advice – an immensely practical guide! 
—Valerie Sutton, Director of Career Services, Harvard Graduate School of Education

“As the late Professor Randy Pausch said, ‘It's not how long you live, rather how well you live’  Decide shows how we can all live more meaningful, productive lives simply by practicing better decision-making.  I invite you--and your team--to start regaining control over your time and efforts by reading this important book.”
Navi Radjou Speaker, Advisor and Bestselling Author including Jugaad Innovation and From Smart To Wise 

"World-class leadership is about making inspired and enlightened choices.  With fresh stories and advice, McClatchy drills down to this idea by recommending daily habits that leaders at every level can use to their immediate benefit.  DECIDE is a very worthy read on a critical subject."
Douglas R. Conant, Chairman of Avon Products, Founder of Conant Leadership, and New York Times Bestselling Leadership Author, TouchPoints

"Your success as a leader is as good as your decisions. McClatchy shows you how to make the decisions everyday that will keep your business and you moving forward."
Elizabeth Walker, Vice President, Global Talent Management, Campbell’s Soup Company

“If your intention is to gain from your life, and not just prevent the pain that often comes with it, then Decide is the book for you. Steve McClatchy reminds us that in order to achieve something of significance we have to focus on things that matter. His new book is full of the practical wisdom that will enable you to end burnout and bring balance to your life—and to find a path worthy of being followed. I absolutely recommend this book.”
Jim Kouzes, coauthor of The Leadership Challenge and Executive Fellow of Leadership, Leavey School of Business, Santa Clara University

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Press Release

January 27, 2014
Work Smarter, Reduce Your Stress, and Lead by Example

Each day we are faced with decisions – both at home and at work – that have a palpable impact on our future. Occasionally we make impulsive choices that we may deem inconsequential, but the effects of which are felt further down the line. Improving the decision-making process should be a priority for everyone – both in their professional and personal lives --  and allows for an enhanced approximation of future results: that is the goal of Steve McClatchy’s new book, DECIDE: Work Smarter, Reduce Your Stress and Lead by Example (Wiley; January 2014; Hardcover & e-book; ISBN: 978-1-118-55438-8; $23).

DECIDE aims to help the reader lead toward improvement in their business and their life by making better decisions based on the real results they want to experience,” says Steve McClatchy, celebrated time-management expert. “The book explains how to achieve balance in our lives through better decision making, rather than waiting for an employer to provide it for us.  It presents the reader with a perspective on the different ways we create the energy we need to get through each day-- including accomplishments and procrastination-- and challenges the reader to make a choice on how to get theirs.”

Readers of this insightful book will learn how to assign values to certain choices to more aptly make decisions and alleviate the stress that accompanies the fight to achieve balance. He also explores the concepts of:

•    Decision management versus time management

•    Dealing with interruptions effectively

•    Setting and achieving goals

DECIDE also helps readers grasp their priorities (or realize what they think are priorities may not be), something the author says can be done simply by looking at one’s calendar.  How many times have you told yourself you want to spend more time with your family?  How many times have you actually entered that time in your calendar?  For most, the answer is never.  What does your calendar tell you about your life that you may not already know?

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