Making decisions on behalf of other people, especially employees under your leadership, can be one of the most intimidating tasks that you face each day. Unfortunately, we all know that you can’t please everyone. No matter what you do, there will probably still be someone who is disappointed with the decision that was made, so how do we fix this? How can we as leaders be the best decision makers for our followers?
First, we must look beyond ourselves. When you’re faced with a having to make a decision, it’s human nature to lean towards doing whatever is best for you, but as a leader, you’re not just responsible for yourself. You’re also responsible for your tribe, whether that’s your organization, your team, your family, etc.
Secondly, as the decision maker, you MUST be prepared to make the tough calls. Sometimes this means you have to abandon a goal or project even though you’ve put in countless hours and your own blood, sweat and tears. Knowing when to cut your losses and walk away is one of the hardest lessons to learn because many people associate walking away with failure. Previous Leadercast speaker, Alison Levine, tells us “One individual’s bad judgment can bring down an entire organization.” Even though it may not be ideal, if it is the best thing for the team, then you have to muster up the courage to make the call. If you won’t, then who will?
Third, trust your gut. If your intuition is telling you that something isn’t right – listen to it. Seek out the facts to see where the feeling is coming from. Often we don’t give our subconscious the credit it deserves. Like the old saying goes “If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.” Don’t be afraid to say “no.” In all honesty, as a decision maker you should probably be saying “no” more than “yes.” Make sure that your organization’s focus is on what’s important and don’t waste energy entertaining questions that aren’t going to help achieve the ultimate goal. “Leader” and “Decision Maker” are two titles that many people crave, but it’s the tough calls and the hard times that separate the Leaders Worth Following from the rest of the crowd.