Leaders are required to be decisive, but how?

As a leader, you are called upon to make decisions daily. Whether it’s a small decision that affects only a few people or a significant decision that impacts an entire organization, your ability to be decisive is critical to your success as a leader.

Decisiveness is the ability to make a decision quickly and confidently. It’s a skill highly valued in the business world, where time is often of the essence, and the consequences of indecision can be significant. When you’re the leader, your team looks to you to provide direction. If you cannot make decisions quickly and confidently, it can create a sense of uncertainty and confusion among your employees.

Being decisive doesn’t mean making hasty or ill-informed decisions. Instead, it means gathering all the relevant information, considering all the options, and then choosing based on what you believe is best for your organization. It’s about the courage to make tough decisions, even when they may not be popular.

There are several benefits to being a decisive leader.

First, being decisive helps you to build trust with your team. When your employees see that you’re willing to make difficult decisions and take responsibility for the outcomes, they’ll be more likely to trust you and follow your lead.

Second, being decisive allows you to move quickly and take advantage of opportunities. In today’s fast-paced business world, being able to act quickly can be the difference between success and failure. Conversely, if you’re indecisive, you may miss out on opportunities or fail to respond to challenges promptly.

Third, being decisive can help you to build a culture of accountability. When you decide, you’re taking responsibility for the outcome and demonstrating to your team that you expect them to do the same. This can help to create a culture where everyone takes ownership of their work and is accountable for their actions.

There are times when being decisive can be challenging.

Sometimes, the stakes are high, and the consequences of making the wrong decision can be severe. It’s a critical skill, and while it’s not always easy to make tough decisions, being decisive is vital to effective leadership. Decisive leaders can make tough decisions promptly, even when faced with uncertainty or ambiguity. Here are some tips on how to become a decisive leader.

Clarify your values and goals: To make sound decisions, you must first be clear about what you stand for and are trying to achieve. Next, reflect on your values and goals for yourself and your organization. Then, write them down and refer to them often.

Gather information: Decisive leaders don’t make decisions based on gut instinct alone. Instead, they gather as much relevant information as possible before deciding. This may involve conducting research, consulting with experts, or soliciting feedback from others.

Identify your options: Once you have gathered information, identify your options. Consider the pros and cons of each option and evaluate their potential outcomes. Creating a list or a decision matrix to organize your thoughts may be helpful.

Consider the consequences: Before making a decision, consider the potential implications of each option. Think about how your decision will impact your organization, your team, and any stakeholders involved. This may include considering both short-term and long-term consequences.

Make a decision: Based on the information you have gathered and the consequences you have considered, make a decision. Don’t be afraid to take calculated risks or make tough decisions. Remember, indecision can be more damaging than making the wrong decision.

Communicate your decision: Once you have made a decision, communicate it clearly and confidently to your team and any other stakeholders involved. Be transparent about your thought process and the factors that influenced your decision.

Evaluate the outcomes: After making a decision, evaluate the outcomes. Did your decision have the intended impact? If not, why not? Use this information to inform future decisions and improve your decision-making skills.

Leadership is a skill that can be developed and refined over time. However, becoming a decisive leader takes practice and commitment. By clarifying your values and goals, gathering information, identifying your options, considering the consequences, making a decision, communicating your decision, and evaluating the outcomes, you can develop the skills necessary to make sound decisions and confidently lead your team.

About rich@leading2leadership.com

Rich Jones is the Founder/Principal of Leading2Leadership LLC. Before starting his strategic planning agency, he spent over 20 years in leadership roles in the financial services sector. Before becoming an executive in the financial services sector, Rich was an entrepreneur, building and selling two businesses and working for early-stage start-up companies in executive roles in marketing, business development, and seeking investment partners. With more than three decades of experience, he brings innovative thought to companies and executives. Rich published “Leading2Leadership, a Situational Primer to Leadership Excellence.” The book is available on Amazon.com and was designed to be used as a book study for leadership development programs; it breaks leadership skills into manageable situations for discussion and reflection. Rich works with credit unions, CUSOs, and vendors, designing digital, data, culture, marketing, and branding transformation strategies. In 2014, Chosen as a Credit Union Rock Star by CU Magazine, and in 2018, Rich received the Lifetime Achievement Award from CUNA Marketing and Business Development Council. A Marine and graduate of Colorado State University, Jones shares his expertise at www.leading2leadership.com.

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