Leaders make decisions. That’s what leaders do; the greater the responsibility, the more that can be riding on each decision made.
There is always potential for fear in making certain decisions and, thereby, procrastination in pulling the trigger.
As the late Ted Engstrom said, “Readiness to risk failure is probably the one quality that best characterizes the effective leader. Never vacillate in making a decision. Indecision at the top breeds lack of confidence and hesitancy throughout an organization.”
For Christian leaders, careful and prayerful consideration of various options will be considered; processing these options and deciding within a team (not unilaterally) will take place, and then the decisions will be communicated in a timely and thorough way to those who need to know. All of this is important to keep morale and motivation high in the organization.
As I have thought about it, almost all of the decisions that are being made will fall into one of three categories:
Leaders are responsible for setting the direction of the organization, group or church. They make decisions, along with their team, as to where things are headed and what needs to be done to get there. It’s good to have a vision plan in place and a clearly defined process on how that vision will be achieved; answering the questions of who will do what and when it will be done.
In order to reach agreed-upon goals, money will need to be raised, allocated and spent and the leader is generally responsible for how the money is raised and spent as there will never be enough money at any given time to do everything everybody wants to see happen; hence priorities need to be set and the funds allocated accordingly.
Once the direction is determined and the vision is clear and agreed upon, the funds are available to make it happen, the right team needs to be in place to execute with excellence. One of the most important things a leader does is to vet and bring on (paid or volunteer) the right people for the right roles. As author Jim Collins says, “Getting the right people on the bus and in the right seats.” You can have a great direction in mind that is energizing, inspirational, the funds on hand to see it happen, but if you don’t have the right people in the right roles, it just ain’t gonna happen.
The true leader will resist the temptation to procrastinate in reaching directional, financial and personnel decisions, nor will he vacillate after they have been made. These tendencies are fatal to leadership. Usually a sincere, though mistaken, decision is better than no decision at all. In most decisions, the difficult part is not in knowing what ought to be done; it is being willing to pay the price involved. This willingness to pay the price is what separates okay leaders from excellent leaders.
Here is what you can count on:
- Some will like your decision
- Some will not like your decision
- Some will not understand why you made the decision
- Some will understand why you made the decision, but still not like it
- Some won’t care what you decide
- Some will leave because of the decision you made
Make the decision anyway!