It’s Time to Decide the Kind of Leader You’re Going to BeJan 23, 2024
Developing strong decision-making skills is crucial for effective leadership within any industry. Whether you are at the top of an organization or you are a lower level manager, it is important to be able to make timely, informed decisions for your team. This requires a sense of urgency, it means becoming comfortable with the unknown, and it involves strategic thinking.
People look to their leaders for direction, especially in times of crisis. Leaders are expected to quickly evaluate the situation, communicate their expectations, delegate tasks, allocate the necessary resources, and then monitor what is and is not working and adjust accordingly. This can be overwhelming for many people in leadership positions. Leaders are often held responsible for the overall efficiency, productivity, and even success of their team. This puts a significant amount of pressure on the individual, and they can respond in one of two ways.
The first response of a leader is to take proactive steps to come to a strategic decision. They consider all of the possibilities and make the choice that is likely to achieve the best possible results, even if it’s not necessarily the perfect scenario. This not only resolves current issues but also helps prevent future problems. Leaders may even consult with their team members to ensure that everyone agrees on a course of action, and then they work on implementing the decision together.
The second and less effective response of a leader is paralysis by analysis, which is when an individual becomes so caught up in thinking about how to approach the situation that they don’t take action. This can be detrimental to the performance of the team. If the leader cannot determine what to do, then team members will work aimlessly. This can create chaos and frustration. As Theodore Roosevelt once said, “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.”
Decision-making requires confidence from the leader and trust from the team. If team members doubt a leader’s capabilities, then whatever decision is made will not be implemented effectively. Similarly, if a leader lacks confidence in their decision or in their team’s ability to perform, then any efforts taken will likely be unsuccessful.
Leaders with strong decision-making skills enable their team to move forward with clarity and purpose. They guide individuals in the right direction and offer feedback when necessary. Developing decision-making skills enhances a leader’s ability to innovate and adapt to the ever-changing business environment. Think about the last several decisions you’ve had to make as a leader. Did you keep your people in the loop, did you act with confidence, or is it time to invest in developing your decision-making skills?
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