Uncertainty is killing your team… make a decision

On-demand training for leaders

Making decisions and executing quickly on change is critical to success. Leaders need to be able to think strategically (slow down) and be able to move quickly; leveraging speed in two places.

You’ll make thousands of decisions across your career. Some seemingly inconsequential, yet high impact and others not so much.

How do you know when you have the RIGHT amount of information to make a decision. Then, once you make the decision, how the he11 do you know how to progress?

Well, my friend. I’ve got a bit of support for ya.

Accept that you will make a significant number of mistakes

Nothing worth doing is ever easy. If you’re blazing a trail or doing work that matters, then you will make mistakes. But you’ll also achieve amazing things. The key to decisions that create high impact is to make them as often as possible and with the right amount of speed.

Your competitors aren’t waiting around for you to decide. Neither are your customers, the evolution of technology or government reform. If you want to make decisions that matter, here’s how:

Where speed Matters

Speed in Deciding — look at any number of the top-performing organisations (public, private, NFP) and you’ll find a common pattern in decision making. Decisions are made quickly and without delay. This breaks down for a lot of organisations in 2 places:

  1. Consultation — leaders can fall into the trap of consulting with too many people before making a decision. Not only does this cause delays, but it creates a culture of consulting at the expense of decisive action. This can mean a decision ‘opportunity’ passes and the advantages of a quick decision are lost. Don’t get caught in the bureaucracy of democracy. You’re better than that 🙂
  2. Information — Another common pitfall is leaders believing they need more info than they actually do. You might say “But I don’t have all the facts”… no one ever does. Collin Powell uses the ’40 70 rule’ to make decisions quickly. If you have less than 40 percent of the necessary facts, you’re bound to make a poor decision. Any more than 70% means you’ve probably waited too long. Assess your information requirements and aim for 40–70. No more, no less.

Speed in Execution — great, you’ve made a choice…now get moving! The number of times I’ve seen leaders decide to do something but not actually do a #@$%ing thing is incredibly frustrating. As an idea in your head, a decision isn’t worth anything until you act.

Don’t dwell or dawdle; simply do. You’ll create a whole new culture within the team once they learn that momentum in the right direction trumps idle perfection.

Acting quickly means a better business that is built on comfort in change.

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