Leadership is founded on influence. One of the greatest tasks given to a leader is the need to make decisions.

You are probably in the position you are today because of your ability to make decisions.

When you are competent and make good decisions you earn trust. When you build trust you will inevitably be given more responsibility.

When my wife and I bought our car, we were newly married and a bit naive (to say the least!). We knew when you have kids they need car seats. So we bought a car that could fit a couple of car seats thinking – “we can have at least 2 kids with this car”.

What we didn’t realize is that you need space for everything else a kid needs! At this point when the kids are in the car, only 1 other item can join us for the journey, usually the stroller.

Image courtesy of Kibsri / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Kibsri / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Decision making requires a certain amount of risk because you won’t always have all the information. You’ll usually have some pieces of the puzzle but your pros / cons list can’t always be as comprehensive as you might like.

With that said, you need to be willing to make decisions even in the face of uncertainty.

We should also recognize that because we don’t have all the information we would like, we have to be ok with occasionally being wrong.

If your goal is to always be right, you will either become arrogant and unteachable or you will become paralyzed with fear.

Your job is to make the best decisions you can with the insight you have.

The ability to make decisions is part art and part skill. These decisions usually involve risk, and should never be left to chance.

The point here is this: we each make decisions and hold opinions based on not being able to see the whole picture.

The trap here is: the temptation is to hold too tightly to these decisions or act extremely within your held opinions.

With all that said we must:

  • Be willing to take the risk and make a decision
  • Be open to new information or other’s input
  • Evaluate when new information is available
  • Make appropriate corrections

We should be willing to hold an opinion and be open to new information that may cause us to change and develop these opinions.

What process do you take when making big decisions?