The mark of a great leader is consistently being a great decider! When you think about it, all business activity really comes down to two simple things: Making decisions and executing on decisions.
Gather The Data
Decisive leaders choose a direction, build buy-in, communicate that direction, and motivate people to achieve a result. In fact, making good decisions is the most important thing we can do. According to the Harvard Business Review (HBR), “It drives 95% of business performance and half of employee engagement!”
Yet the typical business leader delays significant decisions longer than necessary. As Gino Wickman, author of Traction, says, “The only reason you have a problem is that you haven’t made a decision.”
Being indecisive slows the company’s growth, causing missed opportunities and employee frustration that drives turnover and disengagement. The longer we take to decide, the longer our people continue in the wrong direction or just stand still.
Even if the results of a decision are less than desirable, we will come out knowing what works and what doesn’t, so we are able to make better decisions in the future. Keep in mind that most people overestimate the risk of making a bad decision and underestimate the risk of inaction.
Take it from Amazon CEO, Jeff Bezos, who left a lucrative Wall Street job, moved to Seattle and launched the online store out of his garage, forever changing the way people shop. A strong decision-making culture is credited to the company’s success. Bezos advocates the 70% Rule, which comes out of the military. “Most decisions should probably be made with somewhere around 70% of the information you wish for,” he says. “If you wait for 90%, in most cases, you’re probably being slow. Being wrong can be less costly than you think, whereas being slow is going to be expensive for sure.”
Make The Call
If learning to make decisions effectively is a key to propelling a company into a new level of growth, then how do we build our decision-making muscle?
In Decide: The One Common Denominator of All Great Leaders, Gino Wickman shares four discoveries on how to make better decisions and a simple process for doing so:
The Four Discoveries
- You must have clarity of vision. Your clear vision describes who you are, why you exist and what you’re great at, where you want to go, how you’re going to get there, and what the business looks like longer-term.
- Good decision-making requires clarity and confidence. Clarity facilitates better decisions, enhances confidence and improves our reputation as leaders.
- You must avoid the ten bad decision-making habits. There are ten pitfalls that can impede good decision-making.
- Not all good decisions are made at the same speed. Great teams are always working toward understanding and supporting each other in the pursuit of their goals, thus accelerating the decision-making process.
- Create an Issues List. Unresolved issues take time and energy.
- Implement the Issues Solving Track™. IDS™ (Identify, Discuss, Solve) to resolve issues and make better decisions.
How we approach decision-making can be the difference between our company hitting a ceiling or being propelled into a new level of growth. Running your company decisively with your vision at the forefront increases the chance that your business dreams will become reality – with you running your business rather than your business running you. So read the e-book, Decide!, apply its wisdom, and make better and faster decisions!
“Indecision is fatal. It is better to make a wrong decision than build up a habit of indecision.” – Richard Branson
- Learn to make decisions faster and better by downloading a copy of our free eBook, Decide!
- Download the Issues Solving Track from the EOS Toolbox™ to learn how to IDS (Identify, Discuss, and Solve) issues more effectively.
- Take the Organizational Checkup™ to get a picture of your company’s strengths and weaknesses, along with a roadmap for improvement.
Written by Chris Naylor
This post originally appeared on the B.Inspired Blog.