Every important decision inevitably involves a trade-off. Knowing what you can't pursue is as valuable as articulating what you will. But how do you know which trade-offs are acceptable and which are losing propositions? Here are three ways to help make the distinction:
- Get input on pros and cons. List advantages and disadvantages and ask others for their perspective on which carries the heaviest weight.
- Balance short term with long term. Determine what you'd be willing to give up in the long run for some important short-term gain — and vice versa.
- Gauge support. While weighing alternatives, think about who will support a particular idea and who will oppose it. Ask whose support you can live without, and whose backing and buy-in you absolutely need.