Saturday, December 29, 2012

5 decisions to help you be more decisive: A top ten leadership post for 2012


Decisiveness might be one of your biggest opportunity areas for growth as a leader. I know it's been a big opportunity area of growth for me.

Here are five decisions for you to make about decisiveness:

1) Get the facts. Be quicker in gathering the data you need to make the decision.

2) Find time to pray and think. Set aside time in your schedule to work on the ministry and not just in the ministry as you think through the implications of the decision. Then, don't delay. Decide. Now!

3) Stand your ground. Be careful about making a decision to go forward in a certain direction and then stopping or reconsidering based on feedback from others. Reconsidering a decision frustrates the team. Remember that you will always have people who will want you to reconsider the decision that’s been made. You can hear them and validate their concerns without changing course.

4) Clarify expectations. As you engage your team in conversation about the decision needing to be made, define 1) Who is doing what? and 2) When is an answer is needed?

5) Create a list. Keep a log on the decisions that you need to make. You will likely be surprised about all the decisions that are often left hanging. A log will keep things in front of you and help you make the decisions in a timely way.

A quote on decisiveness from Spiritual Leadership by Oswald Sanders:

“When all the facts are in, swift and clear decision is the mark of a true leader. The man who possesses vision must do something about it, or else he will remain a visionary and not a leader… The true leader will resist the temptation to procrastination in reaching a decision, nor will he vacillate after it has been made. Procrastination and vacillation are fatal to leadership. A sincere though faulty decision is better than no decision. Indeed, the latter is really a decision and often a wrong one. It is a decision that the status quo is acceptable. In most decisions, the root problem is not so much in knowing what to do as in being prepared to live with the consequences.” (pp. 76-77)

Other quotes on decisiveness:

"In any moment of decision, the best thing you can do is the right thing, the next best thing you can do is the wrong thing, and the worst thing you can do is nothing." Theodore Roosevelt

"Some people will get angry at your actions and decisions. It's inevitable, if you're honorable… Ironically, by procrastinating on the difficult choices, by trying not to get anyone mad, and by treating everyone equally 'nicely' regardless of their contributions, you'll simply ensure that the only people you'll wind up angering are the most creative and productive people in the organization… Procrastination in the name of reducing risk actually increases risk." Colin Powell

"Leaders make decisions – all the time. Followers make suggestions. Making suggestions is easy because it requires no action or fear of failure. Making decisions is tough. It takes guts because there is always something at stake." Ruben Gonzalez

Question: What decisions have you made to help you be more decisive?

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