Making decisions is part of our daily life. We start making decisions as soon as we open our eyes in the morning; decision to get out of bed, decisions on what to wear, what to do, what to say, where to go and so forth. Decision making is choosing between two or more possible choices.
Everyone has the ability to make decisions (unless you are not in good health or do not have a sound mind). But making a decision is different from making the right decision at the right time. Many people are comfortable making simple and easy decisions that do not have any serious impact, they would avoid making important decisions for as long as possible or even avoid it completely.
A leader makes all kinds of decisions; easy ones, difficult ones, decisions that affect people, decisions that can lead to success or failure, decisions that can waste or grow resources. The late Margaret Thatcher made the decision to go to war over the Falklands Island and this has been described as one of the best decisions of her prime ministerial career. Tony Blair made the decision to invade Iraq, it came back to haunt him. A bad decision made at the wrong time can wipe out years of good decisions.
A leader must master the skill of making the right decision at the right time. Leader's might not always get it right but would at least have more success in making the right decisions than bad ones.
- The first thing before a decision, be clear about what you want to achieve or the outcome you desire.
- Consider how much time you have to make the decision as this would determine the approach you take.
- Where you have time, you can assess benefits/costs of all the options you have, seek advice from experts or those with experience, collate as much information on the issue to be decided on as possible.
- When you have to make an instant decision, your experience and a quick risk assessment would help. You should also use as much information as you have on hand. Consider the worst case scenario. I have also found that even where the decision is urgent, unless it is a life threatening (parachuting out of a plane that is going down or stay put to take your chances - I know which one I would choose!), there would be time to seek at least one advice and carefully consider all options.
- Use experience especially when in a similar situation. Quick way to decide what to do and what not to do
- Always have a good selection of wise Advisers
- Value adding to people
Next week we explore people skills... how good are yours?
“I choose my friends for their good looks,
my acquaintances for their good characters, and
my enemies for their intellects.” Oscar Wilde
Remember you are the salt of the earth, positively impact someone's life this week.