Have you ever been around someone that waffled on everything? Whether big or small, with each decision they go back and forth and back and forth until the decision, oftentimes, becomes null and void. Also, oftentimes, they only worry about what others are thinking in making a decision instead of moving forward based on what is right and best for them personally.
By and large, leaders are decision makers. Establishing personal leadership requires sound personal decision making and being confident in those decisions. This is necessary before you can make decisions that impact others and/or an organization. It is difficult to see how people who have trouble making personal decisions will be able to step into leadership roles where decision making is constant.
Keys to sound personal decision making:
- Decide based on your mission and values. If you have your mission and values always at the forefront, decision making is much easier. I saw a twitter post this morning from Tim Elmore that stated, “Roy Disney once said, ‘It’s not hard to make decisions when you know what your values are.’”
- Get the facts. What are the pros and cons of the decision that are factual, not emotional?
- Weigh in with others who matter. In personal decisions, make sure you’ve talked with those people who are important in your personal life, in which the decision will impact, before making a decision. Get their input. Having a colleague to bounce possible pros and cons of different business decisions is valuable. There may be different people you go to based on different decisions at hand
- Don’t worry about what those that don’t matter think. These are your decisions, not someone else’s. Personal leadership starts with knowing what is right for you.
- Step back, but not too long. If you are faced with making a potentially life altering or organization altering decision and you’ve gathered the facts and talked with others, step back for a bit. Take time to focus your thoughts on other things, because if the decision is life altering, it has probably consumed you. Focusing on other things may help bring clarity to the right path. But don’t delay too long, this may end up begin worse than making the wrong decision.
What have you found to be most helpful to do when faced difficult decisions?