I just voted and I am amazed at the system we have in place. This week the United States decided who leads the military, appoints judges, ambassadors, cabinet members, and countless other positions in our government. We decided what belief system, conviction, and ideology will guide us. That is huge! Decisions are part of every day life. Whether it is deciding what to wear, who to marry or who leads. The ability to make a decision is at the core of leadership. To be an effective leader you need to be able to make effective decisions. Your decision-making ability could be the difference between good and great leadership.
How to make a decision
Realize – A decision needs to be made
If you are going to be a good decision maker, you first have to realize a decision needs to be made. Leaders need to be close enough to the team to realize there is a decision to be made. Every day decisions are made. As a leader you need to know:
What – A decision needs to be made
When – A decision needs to be made
Who – Needs to be involved in making the decision
Refresh – Study the issues
Before any decision can be made, study. Even deciding what you are going to wear needs research. It does not make sense to wear a short sleeve shirt if the temperature is 30 degrees. It is important to gather information to help you make the most informed decision. Talk to those who are experts, those who will be affected by the decision, and pray. Talking to God is the most important thing you can do in making a decision.
Resign – Pull the trigger
Resign yourself to deciding. I don’t believe there is anything worse then a leader who won’t make a decision. All the study in the world will not take the place of simply making the decision. At some point in the decision making process you have to pull the trigger and simply choose. An indecisive leader is a short-lived leader. You may make the wrong decision but at least you made a decision.
Review – Critique after the decision
It is never too late to critique yourself or your team. Certain decisions cannot be undecided. Those kinds of decisions are the big ones. But in every decision you can critique. Don’t just make the decision and walk away. Stand by your decision, and help those who are affected by your decision to stand by it as well.
As leaders we are mantled with the responsibility to make decisions. These decisions will not only affect us, but also entire teams, organizations and possibly communities, regions, and nations. The decisions we make as leaders always have an impact on the future. Take decision making seriously and learn how to be an effective decision maker.
What was the last difficult decision you made?