Leadership - The Fast Track to Better Decision Making

in Decision

A core part of your role as a leader is to deliver results. Results arise when decisions are made and action is taken to implement those decisions. Despite knowing this at a conceptual level, leaders often struggle to take decisions.

So if you are a leader, what's the fast track to better decision making?

Be clear on the decision

Seems like stating the obvious but how often do you notice leaders entering into a situation without clarity about the outcome they want? Being clear on the decision removes the clutter that hinders decision making.

Set some criteria

While there will be situations where you just have to decide there and then, in most cases you will have some lead time before the decision needs to be made. If for example, you are going into a meeting to reach some decisions around strategy, cost reductions or product or service launches, you can define the essentials ahead of time. This helps act as a reference point for decisions.

Avoid the snowball to avalanche syndrome

What I mean by this is that small decisions can quite easily build up (at least in your mind) from relatively minor to major when you procrastinate. We all have our moments of hesitancy or procrastination and when we decide we realise it was a tiny issue. Don't let the small stuff become big stuff by procrastinating.

Decide, act and refine

How many times do you act and get it 100% spot on first time? If you are like most people probably rarely. It is much more effective to take the decision and act and then refine as you go. Technology is a great example of this. A product is launched which inevitably has some problems and updates are issued to address. Accept that a 95% solution now is probably better than 97% in six months time.

Think diminishing returns

In every situation there is point where it is not worth taking any more time on a decision as that extra time makes no tangible difference. So next time you are faced with a decision and you think you are ready to take the decision, ask yourself if there is any benefit in delaying.

Bottom Line - Decisions are the catalyst for actions that lead to results. So what do you need to do to be a better decision maker and achieve better results?

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Duncan Brodie has 1 articles online

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Leadership - The Fast Track to Better Decision Making

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This article was published on 2010/03/27