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A smart 5-step guide to solid decision-making

Before I was a CEO, I made decisions faster. Now that I have the final call on many critical decisions that will affect my entire company and its future, I spend much more of my time pondering them and thinking about their downstream effects. 

I’m often asked about my decision-making process—the backstory behind what goes into every choice, large and small, that I make at Okta. Here’s a look into my tried and true five-step process that helps me delegate, think through, and reevaluate the most important ones.

IDENTIFY WHICH DECISIONS TO PASS OFF

My role as a CEO comes down to five or six critical decisions I have to get right each year and how I operate around them. But hundreds of other smaller decisions arrive on my desk each day that have to be thought through, which means I need to delegate efficiently to other team members. 

I like to classify decisions into two distinct tracks: quick choices and bigger, strategic ones. Jeff Bezos talks about categorizing decisions based on what’s “irreversible.” That’s tough to do; how can you predict irreversibility? I’d position it more as longer-term implications; you can reverse practically every decision, it just might take a while. Knowing which have longer-term implications can help you categorize them, determine who should own them, and decide how much time and research you need to put in yourself.

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