In any moment of decision, the best thing you can do is the right thing, the next best thing is the wrong thing, and the worst thing you can do is nothing.
You’re probably asking “decided what?” in regards to the subject line. Let’s start with decision making in general.
As leaders, we’re expected to make decisions on a regular basis; matter of fact, there’s rarely a day that goes by when we don’t need to make a decision.
Our teams and organizations are dynamic and strategies are refined and we need to provide clarity for approaches/tasks that will support what’s changing. We need to decide how to best engage our direct reports and perhaps peers and other colleagues.
- What decisions need to be made?
- What information will help us make the “right” decision? Note: expect to not always be right!
- Can we decide on our own or should we engage others?
- Do we have time to postpone the decision or does it need to be made now?
- What’s our desired outcome?
- Don’t fall into “analysis/paralysis”
- Accept that we will make mistakes
- When mistakes occur, assess what could have been done differently
- Organize your thoughts and be able to concretely share why you decided what you did
- Don’t expect total buy-in (there will always be opposing views and different approaches)
- Don’t disregard what your “gut” is telling you. Does it feel right?
- Utilize knowledge and past experiences
- Avoid letting emotions impact your thought process
- Determine if any deadlines must be met (you may not have time for complete due diligence ex. Legal or contract issues) so utilize the knowledge available to youIn closing, we’ll share a quote by Larina Kase:
Why is it so difficult to make decisions? Perhaps it is because the variables and the outcomes are often uncertain.
Sometimes you make the right decision, sometimes you make the decision right.