Making Decisions That Matter

How are you providing value to your team?

If you are not 100% in charge of your department, then why were you even hired?

I listen to a podcast put on by the guys at The Art of Charm. It’s for dudes, but who cares? I feel like if someone is putting out content geared towards how to get ahead in life and business, then I’m going to pay attention.

In this particular episode, Jeffrey Hayzlett, author of Think Big, Act Bigger: The Rewards of Being Relentless talks about one of his new employees. You can read the entire post and listen to the episode here.


But what happens when you’re not the executive in charge of making the decisions that succeed or fail and direct the course of your company’s future? Jeffrey tells us the story behind something he calls The Katelyn Rule.

Katelyn was one of Jeffrey’s new employees. About a week into her employment, she asked a very basic question that may have had good intentions, but was ultimately pointless — and that she should have already known the answer to.

“Since you’re so new,” Jeffrey said, “I’m going to give you 21 questions that you can ask me in any given month. You can ask me about the meaning of life, you can ask me where the best Italian restaurant is, you can ask me, ‘Do you think my boyfriend loves me?’ You can ask me any question that you want to ask me. Is that one of the questions that you want to ask?”

“She turned to me and said, ‘Probably not.’”

“I said, ‘Well, good career move! Because if you have to ask me that question, what do I need you for? I hired you [because] you’re a superstar; we only have superstars because we only work with high-growth companies and we want the best people. If I answer questions like that — that seem to me to be fairly common kinds of questions that you should be able to decide yourself — I don’t need you!”

No matter where you are in the hierarchy, you have the power to make decisions that matter. If you can prove — to yourself and the higher-ups in that hierarchy — that you can make good decisions (like not asking your very busy boss questions that you should be able to work out for yourself), then your future’s already looking brighter.

This little story just blew me away. I had to make my transaction coordinator Courtney listen to it and my agent Ron and I discussed it as well.

What if YOU were only given 21 questions in month? What about only 10 questions? Wouldn’t that force you to think more for yourself?

When your boss or other team members are sitting right next to you or they are just a text away, it’s so easy to ask these low-level questions. It takes less time to ask them than it does to find out the answers for ourselves.

But if you were capped on the number of questions you could ask, it would be a game-changer for you and the business.

Let’s face it; everyone on the team is super busy. Some days we spend a lot of time putting out fires. But what if everyone on the team started thinking like a superstar? What if the team you work for is a high-growth company?

If everyone starts focusing on taking responsibility for themselves and for their own actions, the team’s production would skyrocket. Let’s face it. When you have people operating on all cylinders, and not dragging each other down with low-level questions and problems, then the whole team actually accomplishes more.

Courtney decided to solve a problem that cost Ron $195. And Ron was GLAD she made that decision. Rather than discussing it with him for five to ten minutes, she just took care of it. Courtney and I come across a multitude of little decisions like this. If we took every one of them to Ron, that takes away from Ron’s time of getting more business. Now, instead of costing Ron $195, we are costing him tens of thousands of dollars.

That’s why the rule of thumb for the admin on our team is, if it costs $500 or less, the admin makes the decision. Need to order ink for the printer? Just make it happen. Our seller left some junk in the garage after closing and they’ve already moved out of state? Just call 800-GOT-JUNK and get it taken care of.

This is the minutia that we were hired to take of. We make decisions and act quickly. That’s what makes us superstars.

Making Decisions That Matter

Does your team have something similar to our $500 rule? When have you had to make a decision and what was the outcome? Leave your feedback in the comments.

I love getting your comments and questions. Feel free to email me at egilbertATkwDOTcom.


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