Decision-making is not an easy process for anyone – especially for those in leadership. When a leader makes a decision – for better or worse – it affects those being led as well as the leader personally.
Indeed, poor decisions and mistakes affect the lives of others and sometimes the consequences are extensive and can have a lasting effect (most of us can probably think of at least one example of a poor decision that affected a wide circle of individuals).
The same thing goes for good decisions. A positive decision can positively impact a wide circle of people and even create a beneficial legacy within an organization – or even within our own families.
With an eye to the reality of potential long-term consequences, here are several questions that may be useful when making decisions:
- Is it ultimately good or just currently popular?
- Is the choice I am considering really valuable or simply cheap/inexpensive?
- Is it a smart investment or just a quick (hasty) fix?
- Is it ultimately right or just barely legal?
- Is it true or just a matter of opinion?
- Is it just somewhat risky or is it actually dangerous?
- Is it worth fighting against or should we run from it?
- Is it long-lasting or only temporary?
Obviously some of these questions will be relevant and others not very useful - depending on the particulars of the situation and the decision at hand.
The point is this: as a leader, our decisions have consequences. Taking the time to pause and reflect on the potential consequences of our decisions is a vital leadership skill for all of us.
Photo credit: Ryan McGuire