10 Laws of Leader Decision Making
Effective leader decision-making means that you can “make things happen,” instead of just “letting things happen.” Leader decision-making involvement is required in many activities. It is involved in a variety of situations and problems, from the very simple to the very complex.
Leaders use decision-making skills to solve problems by selecting one course of action from several possible alternatives. Almost any decision involves some conflicts or dissatisfaction. The difficult part is to pick one solution where the positive outcome can outweigh possible losses.
To many, avoiding decisions often seems to be the easiest approach. Yet making your own decisions and accepting the consequences is the only way to stay in control of your time, your success, and your life.
Here are 10 laws of leader decision making Digital Spark Marketing uses with clients to improve their ability to get to the best alternative:
Make sure you are working on the correct problem … to be solved. The decision-making process starts by recognizing that a problem exists: something has to be changed in the situation and there are multiple possibilities for improvement. Big problems must often be broken down into smaller, easier to deal with, components.
Once the problem is identified … study it carefully to find exactly what is causing it. Again, be as specific as possible.
Gather information … What are the factors that are driving the components of the problem?
Realize … that you will never have all the information that you need and what you are able to obtain is rarely constant or perfect.
Define the criteria … you will need to evaluate the alternatives. It is best to do this before commencing the evaluation.
List all the possible … decision choices. Note that doing nothing is always a decision alternative.
Evaluate each decision alternative … in terms of your criteria and the possible consequences.
Decide the … best decision alternative. In most situations, it is not feasible to explore all the possibilities because of time and expense. However, try to look for more possibilities than the obvious or habitual ones. If the decision is very important — in either human or financial terms — it will be worthwhile to spend more time and effort in your decision analysis.
Put your decision … into action by transforming your decision into a specific plan of action and executing the plan.
Remember … you always have a chance to make changes post-decision … as required. Evaluate your outcome and iterate after focusing on the lessons learned.
Final thoughts … in everyday life, we often have to decide fast without the ability or time to systematically go through all the above action and distinct steps. In many of these cases, we are better off to decide quickly on our intuition and correct further after the fact.
A real decision is measured by the fact that you’ve taken a new action. If there is no action, you haven’t truly decided.
Note, we are almost always better off taking chances … because the status quo is rarely a good option.
Mike Schoultz is a digital marketing and customer service expert. With 48 years of business experience, he consults on and writes about topics to help improve the performance of a small business. Find him on Facebook, Twitter, Digital Spark Marketing, and LinkedIn.