The Art of Leadership – Making Decisions
This blog originally published in Printing Impressions
There has got to be a study of how many decisions leaders have to make on an average day. Any guesses? They range from simple yes or no decisions to those that affect capital expenditures and the livelihood of your staff. It is clear that none of these decisions should be made with an off-the-cuff approach, but it’s also clear that the decisions do need to be made.
We’ve all seen the movie where everyone in the room is in agreement with the direction the company should take on an issue, but at the end of the day, no action is taken. Why? Is it the fear of making the wrong decision or of not being liked because of making an unpopular decision? Or is it waiting to make the perfect decision instead of a good decision. There’s a wide spectrum of decision-making patterns from the ready-fire-aim approach to the ready-ready-ready, wait, what was the question again approach?
Just the facts ma’am. Well, it isn’t always that easy is it. The inability to make clear, concise decisions may be a symptom of not having enough facts, it may also be caused by not having a clearly defined strategy, or road map to where you are today, and where you want to be tomorrow. With that strategy, decisions can be checked against the roadmap and gauged as to will it help or hurt in your journey. Not saying that they are all that easy, but without it, what are the decisions, or lack thereof, being based on?
The psychological effects of “no-decision” can be numbing to both the group involved, and to the company in general. The team involved is anxious to make progress and to move ahead, creating opportunities and increasing shareholder value. The on again, off again decision making patterns can make the team feel like, “nothing ever gets done around here.” This does not encourage the team feel engaged, and motivated to be the best. Not making a decision will not make the problem or opportunity go away, it’s just kicking the can down the road.
All teams need a leader who has a sense of direction for the company and is willing, and able, to make the right decisions along the way. Whether they make them in isolation, or seek buy-in from others, decisions need to be made and move forward. If you have any comments about the decision making process in your organization, I’d like to hear about them.
Mike Philie can help validate what’s working and what may need to change in your business. Changing the trajectory of a business is difficult to do while simultaneously operating the core competencies. Mike provides strategy and insight to owners and CEOs in the Graphic Communications Industry by providing direct and realistic assessments, not being afraid to voice the unpopular opinion and helping leaders navigate change through a common sense and practical approach. Learn more at www.philiegroup.com, LinkedIn or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.