Our fearless leader, Jerry Houston, has been in leadership roles since he was in his early twenties (many decades ago). He has been in the position of making many, many decisions in his life… some big… and some small. Nonetheless, he knows full well that decisions are sometimes very difficult and there may be many alternatives, and risks associated with making decisions. Let’s tune in this week to his thoughts on this important subject.

Though we may not realize it, each of us makes a HUGE number of decisions during the course of every single day. I just heard on the news that the average person goes into their cell phones 85 times a day! Think of the number of decisions that generates!

Managers and Executives make significant decisions every day that impact the profitability and well-being of their employees, shareholders and the organization at large. Decisions that can have major impact for many years to come. Sooooo, WHAT DO WE DO?

  • First we have to decide what is the problem or issue that we are addressing. Often we do not take the time to really analyze what is happening and that leads to incorrect decisions. We realize that something needs to be done, but we are not really sure what. This leads to procrastination which is the death wish of decision-making.
  • Bring clarity to the issue by examining how serious it is, how it fits into the priority of things and assessing the impact of resolving the issue.
  • The next step is gathering and analyzing information. What do I need to reach a sound conclusion? How much time can I spend on this issue? What do I already know about this issue to resolve it? Who can help me formulate a decision?
  • Developing and choosing an alternative is critical to the decision-making process. It is unusual that a problem has only one alternative decision. You must determine the best solution, weighing the pluses and minuses and then:
  • TAKE ACTION. Decisions have no value until they are executed. What will you do? How will you do it? and by When?
  • Monitor the Results. Once a decision is reached be sure to follow-up on it and be sure it is achieving the desired result.

And a word about COURAGE. It does no good to vacillate and second guess your decision. You must have the courage to stick to your guns and see through the decision, even if it isn’t popular. It’s the leaders job to move the organization toward its defined objectives. It is also the leaders job to DO THE RIGHT THING. Most people have great admiration for leaders who lead by their ethics and are courageous in making sound decisions in a timely manner. Are you one of those leaders?