Essent CEO Talks Decision Making With PPAI Publications

PPAI Publications recently asked leaders in the promotional products community to share advice on making sound decisions quickly.

Eric Alessi, President & CEO of Essent, a technology solutions provider that has served the promotional products industry since 2000, shared his take in PPAI’s "Yes, No or Maybe” series:

"My secret to making sound business decisions is having no secrets. At Essent, we have a strong management team and use collaboration and consensus to reach appropriate and successful decisions for the issue at hand. Decision-making is a process. First-guess instead of second-guess. I frame the issue as a series of questions.

"The questions depend on the situation, but I start by quickly asking myself fundamental questions so I know how to proceed: Is the decision necessary? When do I need to make the decision? Who should be making the decision? It’s amazing how many decisions don’t need to be made or should be made by a person closer to the issue.

"As a leader, a big part of my job is to empower and mentor others through the decision- making process—so as individuals, a team and an organization we learn to make and continue to make the best decisions possible. Sometimes the best decision is to ask a question.”

Other promotional products community leaders sharing their secrets to sound decision making were Conrad Franey, National Sales Manager, Gateway CDI; Jill Albers, Executive Director of Global Sales, Shumsky; Devin Piscitelli, CEO, Akron; Rich Carollo, Vice President, Marketing, Lion Circle; and Beth Walker, Partner, Paper Clip Promotions.

PPAI shared eight tips of its own:

  • Have a clear decision-making process.
  • Embrace ambiguity.
  • Speed up by slowing down.
  • Accept risk.
  • Don’t let data overload get you down.
  • Clarify your values.
  • Clarify your corporate strategy.
  • Practice makes perfect.

Read the full story for details on PPAI’s tips, plus the advice from Franey, Albers, Piscitelli, Carollo and Walker.