Are Leaders losing the drive to decide?
I was recently reading a great book by Lynne Cazaly – Making Sense. She makes some great points about leadership and decision making that I would love to share with you.
How many meetings have you attended recently where there is a lot of great discussion about a problem? A lot of thinking occurs, the problem gets mapped out and people start to see a visual of the “elephant in the room”, there are ideas and possibilities discussed. We start to feel, just maybe, we are starting to get somewhere. But then ….. it all screeches to a halt because there is no decision made. A lot of talk but never any outcome.
Or even better – here’s the decision: let’s set another meeting date and talk about it all over again next time. Argghhh.
Are we just losing the drive to decide? We can do great work and have a lot of introspection within a team as to what caused an issue in the first place, what the impact is having on the team and the customer, what the current issues are. But then that’s where it stops. But hang on – we are just getting to the best bit, when leaders run out of steam. We need to get past discussion and into solving the problem. We need to Act, Plan, then Implement!!!
Decisions are one of the most vital components of leadership. These decisions are what determine a course of action. They set the tone and the direction. The decisions you make are what help you express your leadership. They give a team certainty and when we are living in a VUCA (Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous) landscape, then this is exactly what a team is looking for.
Indecision, oscillation and hesitation just does nothing for momentum or give a team strong leadership in uncertain environments. Contemporary leaders MUST give their teams certainty over things they CAN give certainty on. And making decisions is one of them. Decisions helps give people certainty.
Leadership is about making all types of decisions… every day. Decisions on what things you will tell, which you will share, what you will do, what you will instigate, delegate, escalate and mitigate.
But why do so many leaders fail to draw that line in the sand and then step over it to make the decision. Do they fear it will be the wrong decision, do they worry about stuffing it up, maybe it won’t be completely right, maybe a decision will cause conflict…. And the hesitation thoughts go on.
Along with authenticity, clear communication and setting visions…..leaders need to MAKE decisions and make them FAST. Your organisation and your team need action on issues.
If a decision doesn’t work and “fails fast” so be it. You will soon find out if it’s not right. Fails are not failures, they are just “learns” and you move on and make another decision. But if you don’t decide, you are not leading, and you’re not stepping into action.
So the morale of the story….. Talking and unpacking an issue is great, but start picking up speed with MORE ACTION.