Leaders make decisions. That’s one of their responsibilities. That’s what they get paid to do. They make decisions about people, about direction, about new ideas, about the future and about what’s best for the group or organization. The higher the position and the greater the influence and responsibility, the greater the risk or rewards are for the decisions being made.
Readiness to risk failure is probably the one attribute that separates good leaders from poor ones. Don’t hesitate in making the tough decisions. Indecision by the leader will have negative repercussions throughout the entire organization.
An imperfect decision made expediently and implemented with sensitivity and wisdom may result in far more progress than a “perfect” decision which is first postponed then implemented with fear and uncertainty. How and when the decision is communicated and announced is many times just as important as the decision itself. The risk in decision-making goes with the territory in leadership positions. Those unwilling to take risks need to find another line of work.
Here Are Seven Things To Be Aware Of When Making Important Decisions:
1. Don’t Make Decisions Too Quickly -
Exercise due diligence and do your homework.
2. Don’t Make Decisions Too Slowly -
When you know it’s the right thing to do, don’t procrastinate or wait for more information (you may never have 100% of the information you think you need)…pull the trigger.
3. Don’t Make Decisions In Order To Please Everybody -
You will never keep everybody happy. No matter what you decide, there will be those who don’t agree or don’t like it. It was that great philosopher and theologian Bill Cosby who said, “I don’t know what the secret to success is, but I do know what the secret to failure is and that’s trying to keep everybody happy.”
4. Don’t Make Decisions When You Are Tired Or Discouraged -
It’s a recipe for disaster. All the more reason to pace yourself in work and ministry and to make it a priority to get adequate sleep (7-9 hours as a general rule). Many leaders are sleep deprived and, therefore, make poor decisions. Likewise, when you are significantly discouraged is not a good time to make an important decision. Get some time with the Lord and some close supportive friends and then make that critical decision.
5. Don’t Make Decisions When You Are Fearful -
King Saul is the classic example of a leader who made a decision when fearful and it cost him his leadership and, eventually, his life. Fear of failure, fear of rejection, or fear of making a mistake should not play into the decision-making process. Ask yourself if the decision is right before God--not if it is popular, politically correct, or will placate your detractors.
6. Don’t Make Decisions When You Are Upset Or Angry -
Lashing out at something or someone by making a snappy ill-conceived decision is plain stupid. Wait until you cool down and have some God-given perspective on what’s going on before deciding.
7. Don’t Make Decisions By Yourself –
“We” decisions rather than “I” decisions are always better. In a multitude of counselors there is safety (Proverb 15:22). Team decisions are always better than independent unilateral decisions and are, mostly, better received by the rank and file. The leadership team has decided is always better than I decided. Additionally, with good input from others, the decisions are more likely to be right.