We’re at an interesting time of the year. 

Within the past few weeks, we’ve had the NBA playoffs, the NFL draft, and the NHL playoffs going on. One of the things I always find interesting is how people react in these big situations. 

How do people react under pressure?

Think back to some of the decisions you’ve made when you were under pressure. Would you have chosen differently without that pressure element? 

And what if there were a system that could help you make the best decision no matter what kind of pressure you’re under? 

Fortunately, there is. It’s called IDS. 

Pressure-induced decisions

When you look at the NFL draft, the people making the decisions are getting judged based on a future projection and the expectation— these young men are going to be great. And if they’re not, the decision-makers get criticized for it. 

In the playoffs in any sport, it’s win or go home. And there are must-win games night in and night out. There’s a lot of pressure there. 

  • Are you going to make the right decisions? 
  • Are you going to read the room correctly? 
  • Are you going to take your time and not let the pressure get to you?

I think we all know (or at least we should know) that pressure-induced decisions shouldn’t be any different than regular decisions you’re making. 

There are a lot of ways to make those decisions. The first is an EOS fundamental, which is IDS: 

  • Identify
  • Discuss
  • Solve

Step 1: Identify

What’s no different from a business person to a professional sports coach is that they look at the data, they look at the box score, they watch the film. And that tells them how to identify the actual issue. 

That’s something business people like us and anyone trying to build a big business should be able to do. 

Step 2: Discuss

Once you identify the problem, the next step is to discuss it with all the people involved in the decision. 

Whether it’s your scouts at the NFL draft and the other people who are giving you the information, or whether it’s the assistant coaches who are responsible for defense or offense, it doesn’t matter. You discuss it and go back and forth. 

This is where it’s really important to embrace conflict in those discussions. Because it’s okay to have differing opinions. You want to have differing opinions. 

The data is going to be the key here. 

Step 3: Solve

So, you’ve identified it. You’re discussing it. 

Now, what’s the solution everyone’s willing to live with? 

  • “We need to put this player here.” 
  • “We need to run this kind of defense.” 
  • “We need to select the player that’s going to fill this need because our current roster is inadequate.” 

Whatever that solution looks like, everyone’s got to be on the same page. 

They say in the NFL draft that the draft board is what you want to go by. Well, that’s the data. The data creates that draft board—why these players are ranked where they are. 

Too many times, we let stories or intuition get in the way of actual data and facts. 

Now that you’ve got this IDS problem, you’ve got to go out and execute on it. So that leads you to reframe the situation. Hopefully, in the discussion, you’ve looked at your worst-case scenarios, the best-case scenarios, and the likely outcome, so you have a plan. 

Then it’s important to step back and stick with the plan. Don’t let the stress and the pressures get to you. That’s why making these team-based decisions can be super helpful. 

This IDS method is proven. It’s documented. It works. If you follow the system to a T, you’ll find you’re able to work under pressure really effectively. 

You’ve got your plan, you’ve got your priorities, and you’re not procrastinating (which is a horrible strategy). Then you’re going to live with the decision. 

Part of that is effectively communicating with everyone and ultimately executing on the plan.

That’s how to work under pressure in the business environment. So don’t let your emotions get the best of you. 

Let the systems produce what they’re going to produce and follow the data.