Decision making is a critical component of effective leadership. Your team and those you report to are deepening on you to make timely, well communicated decisions that will aid the team and make progress toward the vision. Good leaders make a myriad of decisions every day. Some are simple and easily executable. Others are weighty and have much at stake. Some can be anticipated and planned. Others are in the moment and must be made immediately. And every leadership decision has a multiplied impact.
Over this post and the next I will look at some key principles regarding leadership decisions. Today, we will look at the nature or components of every leadership decision.
3 Considerations for Every Leadership Decision By definition, a “decision” is a determination arrived at after consideration. Here are three diagnostic questions you can use as you consider every leadership decision.
1. What exactly is the decision that needs to be made? This may sound overly simplistic. But I have seen many bad leadership decisions simply because the leader or leaders had not well defined the decision that needed to be made. This can be especially true in times of urgency. A presenting set of circumstances can blind leaders to the real issue-the underlying issue. A leader must determine what the right decision is in any given situation. This may cause the process to slow down some-but may prove to be the better part of wisdom later. Analysis, counsel and reflection may be critical to determining the essence of any given decision.
2. Who should be involved in making the decision? Leaders must also consider this important question. Too often leaders make decisions in a vacuum. They do not value the counsel of others and they do not value the ownership and energy it will take for others to execute their decisions. This also does not mean that every decision should be a result of group think. A good leader will be discerning about who should be included. Who are the ultimate stakeholders? Who needs to contribute to the solution so that you have their best creativity and ownership to follow through? There is a “sweet spot” of people to include for every decision one faces.
3. How will the decision get communicated? This may be the area I see most often that gets overlooked. The right people are gathered and good decisions are made-and then they are communicated out to the rest of the organization in a disastrous way. A good leader must consider the weight and impact of every key decision and then determine the best means of communication for the highest positive impact. Again, this may require some good counsel with people who are sensitive to the softer side of leadership and people. Some leaders falsely believe that the highest value is just getting the information out and any email will do. Sometimes communicating leadership decisions take more time and rigor than actually making them.
Try these decision diagnostic questions on for size in your own leadership. In the next post I will look at three types of decisions every leader must make. Please add your thoughts and comments on this important topic. Lead well!
Additionally, here are some great Bible references from the books of Proverbs and the Psalms about decisions: Proverbs 15:22; Proverbs 16:1; Proverbs 16:3; Proverbs 16:33; Proverbs 21:5; Psalm 25:12