Tips to Become a More Decisive Leader
Each January, people set New Year’s resolutions, embrace a visionary attitude for the year, or dream about possibilities for the future.
Some people thrive due to this natural “reset,” but others ignore it altogether. And some people just feel stuck. They wrestle with questions like these:
- “I’d like to write a book, but where would I start?”
- “I want to be more organized, but what is the best scheduling system?”
- “I want to quit my job, but what would I do next?”
Do you feel stuck as a leader?
Twenty years from now, you won’t remember how many loads of laundry you did or which Netflix series you binge-watched in 2019. What will matter is the relationships you cherished and the challenges you overcame. You’ll feel pride when you look back at goals you achieved or significant contributions you made. And this begins with action!
Your habits compound over time to shape your identity and to impact others. But this starts with an action-oriented, decisive mindset.
Here are several catalysts to help you become a more decisive leader.
The Worst Decision is No Decision
Many times, people postpone decisions for fear of failing or making a poor choice.
But most failure stems from inaction, not from mistakes we make in the process. Though some decisions matter more than others, often the decision not to act is the most costly choice of all. Don’t worry about doing the wrong thing or obsess over details. Make up your mind to be an action-oriented person and to learn from both your success and your missteps.
Action Trumps the “Perfect” Plan
It’s easier to steer a car that is moving than one that is parked.
Often, we over-prepare or over-think things, which is really just a form of procrastination. Taking action may mean prioritizing undesirable tasks above all others, or refusing to do things you enjoy until you solve a stalled problem. Momentum is powerful, so pick one area to begin and get started!
Narrow the Field
Sometimes the hardest part of a decision is the plethora of options before you.
It takes time to evaluate the pros and cons of every choice, so pare down choices (or have your team do this for you) until you have only a handful of options to consider. It’s easier to select one choice from two options than it is to select two options from 200!
When you struggle with passivity in a certain area, don’t keep kicking this pain point down the road.
Instead, give yourself a time frame to research options and set a deadline for making a choice. Putting “deliberation dates” on the calendar transforms possibilities into realities.
As you start a new season, challenge yourself to stop doing just one thing, and to empower just one person.
Step back to evaluate your schedule or ask someone to help you do this. What is sucking unnecessary time or energy? Could you purge this or share more of your load with your team?
Delegate authority to a trusted staff member and empower leaders around you by training and trusting them. And don’t micromanage people, even if their style is different than your own. This discourages others because it suggests you don’t trust them or you desire control more than you want growth!
Failure to make a decision or take quick action can sometimes hurt your business more than miscalculations along the way. Improve your decision-making capabilities and make this your most productive year yet!