I first became interested in the link between the state of mind and effective decision-making early in my life when I faced a personal tough choice of leaving the Soviet Union in the early eighties. The question was whether I was willing to abandon my comfortable life, a high-level position at the top university, and leave the country alone, pregnant, with only ninety dollars in my pocket and forty pounds of luggage, or to stay and "act within the limits" imposed by the regime.
I wondered then why some decisions are more difficult than others and how people make such tough choices effectively. "Is there a state of mind that enables us to make tough decisions easier?" - I questioned. Through my executive career, I watched master decision makers whom I chanced to meet, especially at General Electric where I was privileged to become a VP, eager to learn more about the link between the state of mind and effective decision-making. It became clear to me that behind their mastery and ease of making decisions is a discipline, a method, and much introspection and self-improvement that is not visible to the naked eye.
Since then, I studied mind-focusing methods more systematically and applied them to my decision-making as a CEO of a public and then a private company. Research for this book served as a culmination of the exploration into this topic - I worked with over a hundred CEOs of companies of various sizes and industries worldwide on their current decisions while a Visiting Scholar at MIT Sloan.
The key to reaching clarity is the ability to focus your physical, mental and emotional resources at will on a certain issue. With such focus, you can identify the right choice faster, more easily, and with greater certainty and internal alignment. It is a practice that can be acquired. This book presents the elements of this practice. The objective of this book is to present techniques that enable you to reach clarity on difficult, strategic decisions with greater effectiveness, thus increasing your decision-making mastery level. This is the book that I wish I could have read at the beginning of my career.
The book defines a Clarity State - a measurable state of mental, physical, and emotional coherence that focuses our inner resources. I found that the combination of the Clarity State with the rigor and discipline of decision-making best practices, utilized by experienced decision makers, has a profound impact on the ability to reach a clear choice in complex situations. The book presents this combination in a practical technique - Clarity State Decision-Making - which can be used by decision makers in small and large organizations alike. Using this process, a stunning 93% of CEOs in my test group made clear choices, resolving current decision situations within an hour and a half after focusing on them. Some of these decisions had been pending for weeks or months.
This is a truly new development. Rarely do we know how to summon our internal resources at will and focus them on an issue to a successful resolution. The approach presented in the book combines traditional, rational ways that we usually use in making decisions with innovative mind focusing techniques that enable you to access more brainpower than we normally do.
I invite you to learn and experiment with this technique. Please use this book as a learning tool; choose a current decision that you are working on and take it through the technique. Observe yourself and the level of clarity that you reach with each exercise. Please let me know what you think.
There is no greater reward for an author than to see how people use her book to become better at what they do. If you practice an effective decision-making process, especially by leveraging the Clarity State, you can succeed with consistency. May you have the motivation, creativity, and courage to become a better leader by making more confident, successful decisions with higher certainty in order to impact the world in a positive way that is uniquely yours.