Hard choices often end up in one of two ugly places:
- Analysis paralysis – no decision, but just an ongoing slow pain, or
- flip-flopping decisions – often depending on who you’re speaking to.
I’ve seen this a lot in many leaders, including CEOs.
Sometimes, it’s because the choices are genuinely difficult to compare.
Other times it’s because there’s no certainty behind any decision.
Oftentimes, it’s because they don’t want to tell someone something that might upset them. That lingering belief that you can make everyone happy.
Well, all of the above are just run-of-the -mill scenarios if you’re leading. And especially if you’re leading from that lonely place at the top.
Because even if you’re a very collaborative leader (which is the best thing to be in my view), you still ultimately have to make a call.
Try to do the work up front that means your decisions are easier. The 3 biggies for me are these, and as much as you should apply them yourself, get your leadership team, then your whole team thinking this same way:
First, get clear on purpose. If you’ve done the work on clarifying the company’s purpose, it becomes easier (not easy, but easier) to make many decisions on the basis of how well they serve it.
Second, use your values. Again, if there’s clarity in what you and your company stand for, many decisions become easier if you put your choices within the context of your values.
And third, be clear on strategy. If you or your business don’t know where you’re going, it’ll be really hard to decide whether to turn left, right, or go straight ahead.
I love this book, and many people I respect also cite it as gold. Buy it here to support independent bookshops and fund a Lendwithcare microloan for women business owners in developing countries.[P.S. As I couldn’t resist it. Another gem from the book…
‘My father turned to me and said, “Son, do you know what’s cheap?”
Since I had absolutely no idea what he was talking about, I replied, “No, what?”
“Flowers. Flowers are really cheap. But do you know what’s expensive?” he asked.
Again, I replied, “No, what?”
He said, “Divorce.”’]
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