Last week, I started the series on becoming a great leader by being the D.E.A. L. A great leader;
is an Achiever
Today I will look at the trait of being DECISIVE and why all Great Leaders need to be Decisive.
The reputation you have as great leader is directly associated with your decision-making ability. Making quality decisions in this very fast-paced and volatile generation has become so complex and difficult than ever before. This modern world revolves so fast and great leaders should make a conscious effort to stay on top and be abreast with the changing tides. The most essential component of modern decision-making is SPEED.
Swiftly making sense out of the copious amounts of data that we have access to in this high tech society is an essential critical skill that all great leaders should aspire to possess. The most important element of this sense-making skill is being able to translate decisions into applicable action, and this can only be achieved through making quick and well thought through decisions.
Great leaders, by being decisive, allow themselves to receive direct and immediate feedback emanating from their actions. This enables them to learn, and then change course of action where necessary to achieve the intended results. Although it is said that that “speed kills,” with the intention of ‘slowing us down’, I say “speed kills so speed up your decision-making and kill your competition”
However, I have observed that there are three constant configurations that inhibit leaders from operating with a decisive mindset. I call these the “Three Desires (3Ds) that Destroy Decisiveness.”
1D – Desire to get it right always: No leader wants to make wrong decisions because the results of wrong decisions cast a slur on our ego and sense of self-esteem. The effects of wrong decisions make us feel incompetent and ineffective. However, completely avoiding mistakes is just unavoidable. The best leaders embrace this fact and deliberately make the choice of turning the results of wrong decisions into stepping stones which eventually leads to making the right decision.
2D –Desire to Delay Decision Making –Making a decision is risky and potentially can move us from our comfort zones. Hence most people even though they may be unable to avoid making a decision, delay as much they can so as to enjoy the safety of their comfort zones. However, great leaders operate with the mindset that delaying decisions is just delaying outcomes and learning opportunities. Great leaders don’t hide in their comfort zones; rather they step out and strive to drive results.
3D -Desire to avoid responsibility – Most often the decisions leaders make have direct impact and consequences on both the leader and his/her followers. Sometimes the jobs of people are on the line, or the potential of causing financial loss or even the reputation of the leader/organization maybe at stake. These pressures of making these such decisions are enough to cause one to want to avoid taking responsibility. However as a great leader, do not allow the fear of taking up responsibility to impair your ability to be decisive. Keep in mind that the most successful and impactful decisions happen because leaders mustered the courage to make them. A very powerful way to show great leadership is to show courageous decisiveness when other people are unwilling to step up to take responsibility.
In your quest to LEAD by being the D.E.A.L, make every effort to stay Decisive.
Next week, I will continue with the trait of Excellence and why all Great Leaders need to be pursue Excellence.
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Author: John Affaidzi Appiah || Director, Corporate Communications and External Relations at Various