Decision Making - The Core of Leadership Management

decision making

Decision making is the key role of leadership. Effective leadership is about making decisions . . . the right decisions . . . decisions that contribute positively to the bottom line.

How do you do that?

Simple. Just decide.

Okay, it's not always that simple to make a decision especially where alot is at stake. In fact, sometimes, the leader can be so indecisive that he suffers what is called decision paralyses.

It can be that serious.

To illustrate, consider a big name football player in the finals of the world cup.

The game ended 1-1 draw at end of full play and extra time. Now both sides are faced with penalty shootout. After four and five penalties played respectively, on both sides, the game stood at 4-5 with his side on the losing end. He is saddled with taking the final kick. If he scores, his team has another chance at the trophy. If he loses, his team loses.

Jack Newman is the best scorer for his team and he's faced with this challenge. He walks confidently towards the ball, his eyes on the goal post. His country's supporters club amidst the crowd cheer him. The anxiety in the crowd is so thick you could slice it with a knife.

He looks up at the goal keeper and at the crowd awe -struck waiting for him to wave the magic wand. At that very moment, it struck him that he was about to make the decision of a lifetime . . . the success of his team depends on this one strike.

Will he score? Will he lose? What will happen if he loses? Will they skin him alive? What will happen to his career?

The tension-soaked atmosphere sent jitters down his spine.

Should he play the ball to the right or left? What if the goal keeper catches the ball? What if . . .?

It's true that not all decision making situations will be as tense as the case of the football star, Jack Newman. But as a leader, you MUST understand the decision making process and apply it well in all situations.

Yes, not all decisions will require rigorous analysis. But once you have developed a professionally sound approach to decision making, you will do it right most of the time if not 100% of the time.

Understand this . . . the continued survival and growth of your organization depends on your ability and the ability of leaders at different levels of the organization to make sound business decisions.

How do you guarantee your decisions will always positively affect your company's bottom line?

1. Clearly understand and seek to apply the decision making process so it becomes a routine

2. Do not make decisions in a hurry. It doesn't have to be now.

3. Plan ahead . . . do strategic business planning

4. Get your subordinates involved in the decision making process. Several good heads are better than one.

5. Seek for information. Develop a business culture of acting on accurate information not hearsay.

6. Develop and implement a management information system and database management system that fosters quick retrieval of important business information. Invest heavily in information technology. Information is the backbone for good decision making.

7. Be aware of the risks associated with the final decision you take and use your risk management skills to effectively manage the associated risks.

A very important part of making decisions is getting the buy-in of your people.

Hey, you cannot do it alone!

That is a fact of business.

No matter how smart or brilliant you are, you cannot turn the business around by yourself. You need the support and goodwill of your subordinates. So, you have to carry them along. You need to get their buy-in.

Remember . . . do it right the first time and all the time. It ultimately affects the bottom line.

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