I’d have less work if leaders did this one thing

The more senior the leader, the bigger the decisions they have to make. But some senior leaders don’t make the decisions that they need to. They put decisions off. They postpone decision making. They let decisions linger. And it doesn’t help their teams.   

I understand it. And I can empathise with putting off decision making. Sometimes you need more information. Sometimes you need more input. Sometimes you need more ideas.  

I was sitting having a lunch chat today with a leader, who was explaining their frustration with their leader. Their leader was sitting on some key decisions that my lunch partner was waiting on, and the person I was speaking to was beside themselves with anxiety and other negative emotions. They just weren’t able to do their job properly, waiting on their leader to make key decisions. Like decisions around people, processes, or major purchases. They are the big ones. 

Following our lunch chat, I went back through my coaching notes, and at least 3 out of 4 sessions, discussed decisions that need to be made by the leader of the person that I am coaching. So, most for the people I coach (601 coaching sessions since January 2020), needing their leader to make a decision is a bit issue for them. 

So what stops leaders making decisions, and how can they get into decision making mode? 

1. Lack of clarity 

When the goal of a decision isn’t clear, it can be hard to make the right choice. A leader may struggle to make a decision if they don’t understand the desired outcome or don’t have enough information to make an informed decision. The goal of every decision needs to be very clear, as the outcomes of the decision need to be clarified. 

Tip: Get the information you need. Get the input you need. Get the ideas you need. Make a commitment to your team, that you’ll make the decision after getting all of the information you need. Set a decision deadline. 

2. Fear of failure 

Fear of failure can be a major obstacle to decision making, especially when it comes to important decisions. Leaders may be concerned that their decision could have negative consequences, or that they may make the wrong choice. This fear can stop them from making a decision that needs to be made. 

Tip: Fear of failure stems from worrying about what could go wrong as a result of the decision. The trick is to reframe your thinking to work through what could go right, instead.  

3. Personal biases 

A leader’s personal beliefs and preferences can also influence their decision making. They may be more likely to make a decision that aligns with their values, even if it’s not the best course of action. We lean on our values when we need to make any big decisions, so it is important to be clear on what your personal values are, and how they align with the values of the business. 

Tip: Make sure you know your business’s values and your own. Knowing where you differ from your business will help you have a clearer picture on where your bias is. 

In summary, leaders need to be aware of these factors that can stop them from making decisions. They should strive to become comfortable with making decisions, even when it’s difficult. They should also take the time to gather all the information they need to make an informed decision, and to consider their own biases. With practice and dedication, a leader can overcome the obstacles to decision making and become an effective decision maker. 

Do you agree that decision making is a key leadership skill that could be improved. 

And please click the image below if you’d like to chat about what leadership means to you.

If you would like to learn more about Anton or The Guinea Group, please click hereto book into Anton’s calendar, to:

UPGRADE your Mindset
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About Anton

Anton has dedicated his working life to helping leaders to upgrade their mindset, upskill their leadership, and uplift their teams! With a focus on helps leaders to better lead under pressure. Anton is an entrepreneur, speaker, consultant, bestselling author and founder of The Guinea Group. Over the past 19 years, Anton has worked with over 175+ global organisations, he has inspired workplace leadership, safety, and cultural change. He’s achieved this by combining his corporate expertise, education (Bachelor of HR and Psychology), and infectious energy levels.
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