In the world of effective leadership the Big “D” is not Dallas or Divorce. It is Decision-making. Decisions are made too late or for the wrong reasons. All decisions change the world or perhaps people’s perception of their world. It is my experience that the biggest complaint in organizations is around the decisions made by the leadership.
I am talking about everything from play-calling at Saturday’s football game to the decisions that directly affect the possibility for attaining world peace. Since decisions can only be made by human beings it could be useful to look at the nature of human beings’ relationship to decision-making.
A pertinent question here might be “what drives decisions?” It actually goes something like this (scientists don’t get your panties in a bunch, it is just how I see it):
-There’s a want or a need – -There’s an emotion generated by that want or need
-The decision/action is a product of that emotion
If my assessment has any merit what is it we want or need that triggers the emotion? Here are a few(it is okay to add to the list):
-To be safe (Life is risky business)
-To control (A myth that runs people)
-To look good (gold medal winner)
-To be perceived as a “good person” (That only lasts as long as they agree with you)
-To be “smart” or “not stupid”
-To get agreement (another failed exercise)
-To satisfy the views of others
-To be “right”
-To avoid responsibility (Kills leadership)
-To look good (oops! Said that)
Are you beginning to get the picture?
So, what do I do to make timely and effective decisions? What is really necessary is to give yourself choices. Choose, take action. Here is a list of some guides to making those choices.
-Be true to your vision for the project
-Trust your intuition
-Be willing to take a risk
-Listen to others input then trust yourself to choose
-Build relationships that allow your organization to operate from alignment
-Be willing to be wrong and make adjustments. No one is perfect.
-Take responsibility for everything. You are anyway.
People actually want someone to lead. They also want to be included in the process. They do not always have to get their way. That would be you trying to make everyone happy. The slipperiest of slopes.
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