Presidential Executive Orders Teach Us This

170129105148-donald-trump-extreme-vetting-executive-order-01-27-2017-large-169Presidential executive orders are making headlines and have been a big issue for the past several weeks. Bill Clinton signed 308 executive actions in his two-term presidency, George W. Bush signed 291 in eight years, and Barack Obama signed 279 from 2009 to 2017. President Donald Trump is beginning to sign such decrees adding to the 13,765 presidential executive order total thus far. But, just what are presidential executive orders and how do these relate to the world of business?

How to Make Important Business Decisions

Only the United States Congress has the power to legislate and make law. But, the executive branch isn’t completely shut out of the process. “Executive Orders do not require Congressional approval to take effect but they have the same legal weight as laws passed by Congress,” This Nation.com explains. The same principle applies to business. You might be in a partnership or employ managers and directors, but ultimately, it’s you who is responsible for all decisions.

Decision-making is a vital part of the business world. Even a low-level supervisor makes several decisions in a work day, and with some companies, decision-making is encouraged among workers on the line. Unlike CEOs and managers of large companies, the small business owner is largely responsible for the ultimate outcome of all decisions with regard to her company. —San Francisco Gate

That’s really what executive orders are about — decisions made by the chief executive for one or more agencies to follow. While you might not have thought about the similarities of executive actions in the world of business, they do exist. We can learn from these, just as entrepreneurs can learn from the funny business. Of course, this begs the question about how to best go about making critical business decisions. Here are some helpful suggestions for how to make important business decisions you can use:

  • Understand where your company stands. Before you make any big decision, you need to be in-the-know about where your business truly stands. It’s not enough to guess or to go with your gut, learn precisely where your company is and its projection for the next couple to few months. Having this information could well change your entire perspective and might even cause you to dismiss taking action (at least for the foreseeable future).
  • Consider possible outcome scenarios. Okay, it isn’t possible to foresee every contingency and situation but it’s certainly worthwhile to game plan as widely as possible. Think about the most likely scenarios to unfold and work through each thoughtfully. But, don’t over analyze these possibilities or you’ll probably succumb to the trap of paralysis by analysis.
  • Get other viewpoints from your team. Even though it’s your decision ultimately, that doesn’t mean you can enjoy team input. There’s a reason the old adage “two heads are better than one” survives to this day. By getting team viewpoints, you’re more likely to make a better decision that’s in everyone’s best interest.
  • Don’t rush into a decision. Speaking of making a decision, you shouldn’t procrastinate, even if a tough and unpleasant one. That only causes more chaos and confusion, with more unnecessary suffering. But, this certainly isn’t to say you should make important decisions quickly because this too, will likely have negative impact.
  • Give it time to unfold. Once you have made your all-important executive decision, give it some time to take hold. Let it work into the dynamics to assess how it evolves. Be patient and don’t panic if small problems pop up. Overreacting won’t serve you well but if it does prove harmful, pull the plug.

How do you go about making important business decisions? What advice would you give other entrepreneurs? Are there ways you’ve achieved good results by following certain protocols? Please share your experiences and thoughts!

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