One of the biggest issues that companies face is the lack of leaders who actually make decisions to ensure employees are able to be effective and efficient with their work. We all know that one of the most important roles of a leader is to be the decision maker; someone has to be that person where debate ends and action begins. Unfortunately, decision making is also one of the most difficult traits to develop as a leader.
Too often, options and issues are escalated to those in organizations that have the final say, and that is where things stop. So, what happens? What are the challenges that make the process come to a screeching halt?
The first road block that keeps leaders from making a decision is the existence of various options. Leaders are always looking for options. There is a point, however, where options become the enemy of progress; where the data overwhelms us (in other words, we “lose sight of the forest for the trees”). I am not suggesting that all the facts shouldn’t be on the table before a decision is made, but, generally, there will ALWAYS be another way to look at something. Use options to help make a decision, not to avoid making a decision.
The second road block is strong opposing views. Every good employee should be passionate about their views and positions; this is something that we actually value in an employee. As leaders, we should encourage individuals to vocalize their views, but ultimately our job is to make a decision and explain why we are making that decision considering the opposing views in the room.
The third road block is that we are just nervous about making a mistake; that the decision we make may be flat-out wrong. We all make wrong decisions from time to time. We are where we are in our career because along this road, we proved we can make good decisions – the right decisions – and we have been put in a position where making decisions is a key responsibility of our job.
So, here are 3 tips to help making the decision process easier:
- Go into every situation with the mindset that a decision needs to be made and you are the one that needs to make it. Regardless of the number of options or the opposing views, a decision is required.
- Allow, and request, the team to present the facts and their views, and require the team to present their conclusion; ask clarifying questions. By requiring the team to come prepared, streamlined options and opposing views will be vetted by the team prior to presenting a conclusion to you. This will help focus your decision on the best alternative.
- Trust your instincts; keep in mind the 80/20 rule. Don’t get caught-up analyzing options and data to the point where it halts progress. If you need further information, ask for it, but if you know where the team needs to go based on the information in front of you, make the decision and move on. Based on the facts and your instincts, 80% of the time your decision will be correct; the other 20% of the time you can fix it to make it right.
Don’t ever be afraid to make a decision. Remember, your employees and your organization are counting on you!
Prism Partners International can assist you and your leaders develop your strategy and deliver resulting action plans to embed your strategy into your organization. We drive results by holding individuals and teams accountable for accomplishing their goals, continually focusing on process improvement. This creates an organizational environment positioned to effectively and efficiently manage growth and improve profitability.
Also, as you continue to look for ways to develop your team, consider our online training courses. Our courses cover the following topics: strategy, culture, leadership and performance management. These courses can be an invaluable and affordable tool to help you drive your organization/function forward and develop your people in practical, SIMPLE terms.
Please contact us to learn how we can help. We invite you sign-up for our weekly blog posts at http://www.prismpartnersintl.com/blog. We also ask that you join our LinkedIn Group (Strategic Human Capital Alignment Forum), Like Us on Facebook (Prism Partners International) and Follow Us on Twitter (@PrismPartners).