The Capacity to Lead: Reason & Make Good Decisions

Decision-making is a critical part of every leader’s job. Good leaders know how to use effective decision-making processes to make sound judgments, even in situations of ambiguity. Decision-making involves evaluating both objective and subjective data and relies on a mix of analysis and judgment. Some suggestions that may help you to leverage your decision-making skills by using a defined process are:

  • Establish clear goals for decisions and then link your approach to analysis. Determine methods and criteria for decision making. Utilize them to help make timely decisions, even in the presence of uncertainty or complexity.
  • A sound decision has the following characteristics:

It is based on accurate analysis.
It reflects a solid understanding of the business and its priorities.
It incorporates the analysis of hard data and people’s concerns.
It weighs the pros and cons of alternatives.
It involves the necessary people in the decision-making process.

  • Recognize that you will not always have enough information before making some decisions. Review information and make the most effective decision you can with the data you have. Monitor progress and amend plans if the decision does not generate the results you want.
  • Do not neglect to look at the consequences of not making a decision. Sometimes it is not feasible to get enough data within the time frame to feel secure. Yet, the consequences of not making decisions may be worse for the organization and the people involved than making a less than perfect decision would be.
  • Identify essential issues and focus on what is critical and important. Give priority to attaining results. Enlist the help of others affected by the decision. Ask for any critical data that is missing and work collaboratively to make an effective decision.