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Mouli Cohen and The Art of Tough Decisions

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					The Art of Making
Tough Decisions
An interview with investor, entrepreneur and
philanthropist Mouli Cohen

Conducted by Journalist ________
Making The Right Decisions

      How do you make the right decision?
      Many of us think that good decisions are based primarily on
      coming up with an effective strategy and then executing on it.
      It's true that having a sound strategy is very important when
      addressing a challenging problem but I can say with
      confidence that the best-and hardest-decisions I ever made
      were all about people.

      No matter how smart I am or how successful I have been in
      the past I cannot know the future. Therefore I must have the
      right partners along the way who can help me make the tough
      decisions.
Encouraging Debate

   Do you challenge your partners to help you
   come up with the right answer?
   In my companies I strongly encourage people to disagree with
   me. I like to create this culture of constructive debate &
   skepticism within all of my organizations.

   I pull in my best people and challenge them to debate the
   problem from all angles. Making decisions by consensus,
   however, never works. Ultimately, the decision is the CEO's to
   make and he/she has to be willing to take a risk and make the
   tough call. I cannot stress enough, however, the importance
   of having people debate and challenge you. If you don't do
   this you risk cutting yourself off from hearing options or ideas
   that might be better.
Short Term Vs. Long Term

      When making critical desicions, how do you
      balance short and long term thinking?
      Whenever possible leaders should make decisions based on
      the long-term vision of your company. When Steve Jobs made
      the decision to abandon IBM's PowerPC chipset and go
      exclusively with Intel this effected them negatively in the
      short term, but this is a decision will have a long term impact
      for the company in years to come (for better or worse).

      Whenever possible manage for the quarter-century not the
      quarter.
Quarter Century Decisions

      Can you give us some examples of what you
      mean by "quarter-century" decisions?
      If we go farther back in time we can identify several serious
      business leaders who made quarter-century calls"...

         In 1903 Ken Gillette made the radical decision to
         move to disposable razor blades.

         In 1980 Reginald Jones appointed Jack Welch as
         CEO of General Electric.

         In 1985 Andy Grove fired himself from Intel.

         In 2000 Jerry Levine of Time Warner decided he no
         longer needed a collar on AOL stock.
      Context

How do you keep your big decisions on
context?
It is important to remember that any decision-no matter how
big-is only a small fraction of the total outcome. Some
decisions are bigger than others but ultimately what defines
success is a series of choices made over time that are
executed flawlessly.

You can make mistakes along the way and still achieve overall
success.
Mouli Cohen Bio

 Mouli Cohen is a lifelong entrepreneur and
 philanthropist who has built successful start-ups
 and invested in companies that have produced over
 3 Billion in value for shareholders. He is currently
 the Founder and Chairman of Voltage Capital.

 Throughout his career he has collaborated with
 some of the worlds most powerful leaders and
 thinkers including heads of state and CEOs. Here he
 shares the advice he has gained throughout his
 distinguished career.

				
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