Leadership means making tough decisions

It is difficult for leaders to make tough decisions; some will often abandon their responsibility because they don't want to act on a tough decision or carry the load of the outcome.

Good leaders will remember that they have the responsibility and the obligation to use their authority judiciously and decisively.

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Advice from an ex-Marine officer on making tough decisions

fastcompany.com

  • Dealing with hard decisions is an obligation. When you accepted the mantle of leadership, you accepted the authority and the responsibility.
  • You can't hope the issue will resolve itself. When leaders don't want to take ownership of the outcome, their indecision can consume the organization and prevent growth, effectiveness, innovation, and morale.
  • It takes moral courage doing something that will adversely impact an individual's career or telling the boss something they don't want to hear.
  • You'll get better at making hard choices.

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  • Consider what makes this decision so hard for you, then deal with it and learn from it.
  • Know the environment and influencing factors in which the decision is being made. Try to understand the urgency, circumstances, culture, and expectations of those involved. All of these will ultimately influence your decision.
  • You're not in this by yourself. Become familiar with the capabilities and resources available. Knowing other leaders to reach out to can make a big difference.
  • Understand the impact, both individually and organizationally. Putting yourself in the shoes of the affected party will better reveal the effect of a particular decision.

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  • Don't panic. A tough choice means an increased level of difficulty, dilemma, and anxiety. Recognize that it exists, reducing the stress when you can, and don't allow it to escalate to panic.
  • Clearly identify the issue. Pause to get clarity. Be precise before you act as it will help you gauge the real extend of the problem.
  • Weigh and balance. Ask if you need to make this decision, when you have to make it, and what the decision will be. Decide how much time you have and use it effectively.

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