The number one common denominator of great leaders and leadership teams is the ability to make good decisions. As Napoleon Bonaparte said “Nothing is more difficult and therefore more precious than to be able to decide.”
We all make lots of small decisions everyday – what to eat; where to shop; who to talk to -but when it comes to making big decisions we face two challenges: the fear of making bad decisions and making decisions too slowly.
In his book “Decide”, Gino Wickman says to be an effective decision maker you must have made four discoveries.
Discovery #1: Clarity of Vision – you need to know where you’re heading if you are going to be making decisions about how to get there.
Discovery #2: Clarity Breaks – take time out of the business to reflect. Some of the best revelations come when you are not actively analyzing the problem.
Discovery #3: You must avoid 10 bad habits of decision making (see below).
Discovery #4: Understand that not all decisions are made at the same speed.
1. Thou Shalt Not Rule by Consensus
A team with a strong Vision will normally agree on the decision to be made, but if they don’t and a final decision needs to be made then it is the leader that has that decision
2. Thou Shalt Not Be a Weenie
Some solutions are simple to decide on, just not easy to implement. A strong resolve is needed to make tough decisions
3. Thou Shalt Be Decisive
It’s less important what you decide than it is that you decide….so decide. Procrastination or lack of decision is one of the biggest issues for people that experience failure.
4. Thou Shalt Not Rely on Secondhand Information
Everyone with relevant input needs to be in the room when the decision is being made – at the same time.
5. Thou Shalt Fight for the Greater Good
Ego, emotion and personality has no place in decision making. Focus on the Vision and to make better faster decisions.
6. Thou Shalt Not Try to Solve Them All
Prioritize your issues, then solve them in that order. By solving the most important issues first you’ll find lower ranked issues tend to no longer be “issues”.
7. Thou Shalt Live with It, End It, or Change It
You have three options: You can live with it, end it, or change it. Period. If you can no longer live with it, you have to change it or end it. If you can’t do either of those, then agree to live with it and stop complaining.
8. Thou Shalt Choose Short-Term Pain and Suffering
Thirty-six hours of pain. Almost every tough decision you make will bring you thirty six hours of pain. But, is thirty six hours better than 12, 24, or 36 months of continuing suffering because you won’t make the tough decision?
9. Thou Shalt Enter the Danger
The issue that you fear the most is the one that you most need to discuss and resolve. List ALL of your issues. Prioritize them. Work on the top one first no matter how scary it appears.
10. Thou Shalt Take a Shot
Propose a solution. If your team think you’re wrong they’ll let you know, but having no solution leads to no change. Take a shot – your idea might be the one that gets implemented.
If you feel that your organization needs help with decision making, give Simon a call at (440)-506-4347 to schedule a no obligation initial meeting to discuss how you can take your organization to the next level.