One of the most frustrating things in the world is to be following (or tethered to) a leader who is indecisive. In leadership, making tough decisions comes with the territory.
Consequential leadership demands sound and timely decisions of us.
Consider the following guideposts for making those difficult decisions:
- Take the needed time to make the tough calls. Sleep on it if you can. (But know that the best decision in the world made one second too late is useless, or worse.)
- Get input and perspective from a wide array of stakeholders and knowledgeable experts before making the decision. DO NOT, however, imply that consensus is what you're seeking. The toughest decisions are ours to make.....and to own.
- With initiatives or policy changes, pilot it first. Test the waters, find the bottlenecks, sniff out the trouble spots during a "reduced" effort/project before pushing the decision across the entire organization.
- Buy-in is required. No way around it. Once made, a superb decision will fall flat unless we persistently make the case for it having been made in the first place.
Qualifier: In crisis situations, the deliberateness of the processes above won't work. The best leaders I know have conversations and make plans for potential crises BEFORE they arrive at the doorstep. In effect, much of those tough decisions are made ahead of time.
Leadership is not for wimps...
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