Your Route to the Top: Take that decision

Key decisions are in the offing in Goverment circles right now. With all the will he, won't he speculation over Gordon Brown and his possible snap election, it looks like the new PM may need a bit of guidance in taking that big next step. Perhaps MT's Route to the Top can help...

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Last Updated: 31 Aug 2010

Get started. Ask yourself whether you can resolve a problem there and then. If so, do it. If not, follow Einstein's approach: 'Make it as simple as possible, but no simpler.'

Define the problem. In one sentence, write down what you have to make a decision about. If you've been headhunted, what's the crux of your problem? Is it whether you actually want a new job?

Explore what's involved. Who and what will be affected, when and where will the outcome be implemented, and why do you even need to make the decision? You may have to consider family and colleagues, lifestyle and aspirations. Delve deep so nothing gets overlooked.

Consider different perspectives. How would a doctor or a five-year-old child view the dilemma? What would someone in Mumbai or Munich think? What would your competitor do? Approaching the problem from different angles helps you to understand the facts objectively.

Picture your ideal outcome. Whether it's securing a six-figure contract or practising yoga in India, how can your choice bridge the gap between the present and your perfect outcome?

Challenge your assumptions. The merit of your decision is based on the process you've followed, not just the outcome. Make sure it's foolproof. If you're deciding to relocate your company, it affects other people. Have you checked that those involved want this, and is such a move actually going to work?

Make your choice. Bring all the facts together and write a list of the pros and cons. Then make your decision and stick to it. Nothing can ever be 100%, so go with the best-looking option.

Make it happen. Take a flexible approach and strike a balance between planning and adjusting: signing a new contract is not signing your life away. Respect your decision, but don't be a slave to it.

Don't restrict yourself. Why have just one? Over the course of your career you should benefit from a range of experts. Have a group of advisers and dip in and out depending on your need.

- 'The Mind Gym: Give me time' is published by Time Warner Books (£12.99). Contact the firm at www.themindgym.com.

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