Leaders Make Decisive Decisions

Today’s guest post comes from Heath Padgett. Heath is currently traveling across the country to work 50 hourly-paying jobs, one in each state to shine a spotlight on the vital role of hourly workers in America. He will post recaps and lessons from each job at HourlyAmerica.com. You can also follow his journey on Twitter and Instagram with @HourlyAmerica and his site HeathPadgett.com.

What kills businesses isn’t when people make a bad decision and something fails. What kills businesses is when a leader fails to arrive at a clear decision for a team. A quickly made bad decision can be better than a long drawn out good decision.

If you wait months and months before you find a direction, the lack of productivity can amount to thousands of dollars, and fast. If you are able to make decisive decisions on a daily basis, it becomes easy to correct course when the ship is headed in the wrong direction.

There is a reason most businesses struggle with this part of the decisions making process. When you have multiple board members, and vice presidents, and then of course you want your employees input, it can takes weeks and months to make decisions that could have been made in an afternoon over a cup of coffee. If your employees trust you as their leader, then they must trust you as their head decision maker.

Making smart, fast decisions is one of the rare and yet valuable qualities of successful leaders. When you’re insecure about what to do, your employees become insecure about your leadership. This, of course, doesn’t mean you should take a dictatorship type role and not consult anyone. By all means, consult your loyal team members and hear their advice. But at the end of the day, make a cut off for when you’re going to finalize a decision. Let your employees know you may be right or wrong, but you’ve made a decision and now there is clear action to be taken.

Giving yourself room to be wrong liberates the pressure of always having to make the right decision. The only reason we put off decision making in the first place is because we are scared of being wrong. And when we wait for months on end to make decisions, we make the wrong decision by default for lack of inaction and loss of productivity. Here is a simple step by step guide for making decisions:

  • Clearly state what the problem is for yourself.
  • Before announcing the problem to your employees, come up with a list of possible solutions.
  • Present the problem along with a list of possible solutions.
  • Do not bring up the problem without possible solutions. It’s easy to point out a problem. The difficult part of leadership is coming up with solutions.
  • Set a deadline for making the decision (vital).
  • Once you set the deadline, make your employees hold you accountable for making the decision.
  • Give yourself permission to be wrong, and then act out the decision you’ve set on.

Work on mastering the art of making decisions in your personal life as well as your business life. Once you do, people will begin looking towards you to make decisions for them. I can’t reiterate enough, give yourself the permission to be wrong. You are going to make wrong decisions. The most important part of making valuable, quick decisions is releasing the pressure of always being right. Gather the facts, set a deadline, and then do the best you can to carry out your vision. Leadership is making quality decisions and having the courage to carry them out. Start today.


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