Blog (Tom Piippo): Decisions, decisions, decisions…

'The best (business) decision that I remember making was the one to join ASA,' Piippo says.

Decisions, decisions, decisions…

We all make them. Sometimes I don’t want to admit it if I made a bad decision.

My first decision every day? What socks to wear.

Thank goodness I wear a company work uniform, so I just have to grab the next one in line, button up the shirt, zip up the pants.

If I mess up on the socks, it’s my little secret, no one sees them anyway.

As far as I can tell, any creature with a brain and reasoning skills makes decisions.

I think this includes all mammals and birds, I’m not so sure about reptiles, they seem to act on instinct, and I’ve never met a snake that I liked.

Over the years, presidents that made great, popular decisions have been heralded as great presidents. Those who made great, not-so-popular decisions usually did not get re-elected. Then there were those presidents who made bone-headed decisions. Well, for some reason, We The People usually re-elected those guys.

Go figure…

As business owners and managers, we must make dozens of decisions a day. It’s no secret that if you make good decisions, your business will prosper, and if you make bad decisions, well, let’s just hope you don’t repeat them.

Good decision-making doesn’t come naturally, at least for me. I’ve made enough bad decisions that I found out the hard way of what works and what doesn’t. That’s the School of Hard Knocks. Painful!

I’ve decided to educate myself in whatever subject that I need to make a decision on.

Hiring a new employee? Do your homework, check references, come up with an interview plan and have a job description and employee handbook available.

How do I know this? When the new hire challenges you with the statement: “That’s not what I was hired to do!” This is your opportunity to quote the handbook and job description because you do have one, right?

Buying new equipment? Do the homework. It’s not always about the best price. What about warranty? Who will service and repair this equipment? Is it upgradable? Did you run scenarios on ROI?

Decisions on HR issues used to make me shake in my boots.

I hated confrontation. Employees abusing sick days, vacation time, and policies in general. I used to let them (employees) take advantage of me just to avoid the issue.

Then I decided to get smart on the subject, educate myself.

The Automotive Management Institute (AMI) has dozens of courses about employees and customers. I learned how to make friends and influence people. Every AMI course that I took, I learned new skills – soft skills. These soft skills are the ones that allow me to make GOOD decisions, and maybe someday, I will make a GREAT decision.

The best (business) decision that I remember making was the one to join ASA.

What was YOUR best business decision?

I’m waiting to hear at



Tom Piippo, AMAM, is director of ASA’s Mechanical Operations Committee.