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Making Difficult Decisions: How to be decisive and get the business done



Making Difficult Decisions: How to be decisive and get the business done

Peter J. A. Shaw

ISBN: 978-1-841-12742-2 July 2008 Capstone 224 Pages


You are faced with so many difficult decisions. Often your decision making seems random. It can be swayed by different situations and emotions. You need to be more rigorous in the way you make decisions and yet you have very little time to do so. Experience from others who have made tough decisions and a framework to help you do so would be invaluable.

The courage to make decisions is sometimes a bit elusive. It is difficult to find the calmness to be able to make and live with those decisions. There is so much that can be learned from the experience of others. After working through this book you will have the courage of your convictions and the ability to make difficult decisions count.

The book sets out a framework for making difficult decisions that has been tried and tested. It has been used successfully in one-to-one coaching with senior leaders in both the public, private and voluntary sectors. The framework is built on the following strands: Clarity; Conviction; Courage; and Communication.

Foreword by Nick Macpherson.


Part 1: The 4Cs of Making Difficult Decisions.

1. Balancing clarity and conviction.

2. Clarity.

3. Conviction.

4. Courage.

5. Communication.

Part 2: Taking Forward Making Difficult Decisions.

6. Applying the learning from good decision makers.

7. Embedding the ability to make difficult decisions.

8. Enabling others to make difficult decisions.

9. Key questions when making difficult decisions.

Part 3: Making Difficult Decisions in Particular Circumstances.

10. Making difficult decisions as the boss.

11. Making difficult decisions in relating to your boss.

12. Making difficult decisions in relating to your peers.

13. Dealing with your hopes and fears.

14. Addressing values and priorities.

15. Next Steps.

Selected bibliography.


"Author Shaw approaches his subject in a methodical fashion...a well laid-out book...the advise, including warnings on potential pitfalls, is good." (Personnel Today, September 16, 2008)

"Shaw has done something rarely attempted before...he covers a huge range of decision makers and how they tackle decisions" ( Engineering & Technology, October 11th, 2008)