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Making the Tough Calls

Five steps to make the process a bit easier.

Closing a small-town plant that employs hundreds of residents. Firing a key staff member. Acquiring another company. Dissolving a long-time business relationship.

Ninety-five percent of the decisions a CEO makes likely could be made by a reasonably intelligent eighth-grader. But the CEO gets paid for the other 5 percent for making tough calls like the ones I just described.

What exactly is a tough call? It's a decision you know you should make because it will help you and/or your company, but you often hesitate to make it for a host of reasons some good and some not-so-good.

You may be nodding your head as you read, traveling down memory lane to a time when you had to make a tough call. In fact, that's one way to identify tough calls--you definitely remember them. And every time you think of them, you groan. That's just the way it is with a tough call. It doesn't matter how much time has passed since you made the decision, it still makes you groan.

Every tough call that I've made in my life ...

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