Decisiveness is defined as the power or quality to decide and take resolute action.
No one wants to follow a leader who can not make a decision. As a business owner you will make many decisions every day. Don’t be one of those “deer in a headlight” types. People around you need you to make decisions, and make them confidently and timely.
When to Decide
Does the decision need to be made right now or should it wait? That depends on the impending risk. Should we buy copy paper from this office supply store or that one? Do we have all of the facts? Price, delivery, warranty, availability? If so, decide… if not… wait.
Every decision needs to be made, but not every decision needs to be made right now. There is a big difference in being unable or unwilling to make decisions and knowing the proper timing for making that decision. As a leader you must know the difference.
Right or Wrong
There will be times when you will be unsure of the proper course of action. Unfortunately, you don’t have the luxury of taking a pass on the decision to respond. The worst decision is often indecision. Many times you will have to use the information at hand and respond quickly and decisively.
Several years ago I read a great book by Marcus Buckingham called “Now Discover Your Strengths”. One of my primary strengths is “Activator”. An activator is a action taker, a “just get it done” type of person. This has been a mixed blessing for me. I tend to make decisions quickly and often without all of the facts. Most of the time things work out great, however there are times when I need to regroup and change course.
When your back is against the wall and something needs to happen, not making a decision is often far worse than making a wrong decision. When you decide incorrectly, be willing to stop and change course if necessary,
Confusion and Mistrust
Decisiveness avoids confusion. Your team needs direction from their leader. When a decision must be made and you don’t step up, the result is confusion and mistrust.
In my last business we had a mobile hard drive shredding practice. We would go to a client location and literally turn their old hard drives into tiny pieces right before their eyes, ensuring that their sensitive data would never be subject to breach. We used was a 24 ft dock truck equipped with a huge generator and an industrial shredder capable of shredding several hundred drives per hour.
Our truck had some fairly serious mechanical issues. My driver was counting on me to make some decisions that greatly affected his ability to perform. These decisions, I felt, were very costly and I chose to put them off. My indecisiveness was a huge problem. My team felt like I didn’t care or that I was too cheap to fix the issues that were causing them pain. In the end, the fix was only a few thousand dollars. In retrospect, my indecision caused way more problems than necessary.
Are there some decisions that you have been putting off? Determine your priorities and get off the dime and make a decision. In the end your decisiveness will foster trust and loyalty.
I’d love to hear about decisions that you have made, right or wrong. What have you learned from being decisive?