Confidently Make Decisions on Demand
By Francie Dalton
executive ranks are brimming over with action oriented, quick
thinking individuals who are ready, willing, and able to dispense
decisions on demand. More challenging, though, is knowing whether a
decision should be made on demand.
heat of the moment, it can be tempting to act precipitously, perhaps
having been lured into believing that the option to do nothing
doesn't exist. Such decisions often end up being changed as
retrospective analysis reveals that we really should have "slept on
it". Developing an ability to discern whether or not immediacy is
required in decision-making is essential. You may perhaps be
forgiven for reversing one decision, but more than that is
justifiable reason for your constituency to second-guess all your
usually obvious when the luxury exits to gather more information, to
get advice, to benchmark or to conduct a comprehensive business
analysis; but the difference between what truly requires immediacy
and that which masquerades as such is often not so obvious. So let's
begin by identifying a few instances when waiting may actually be a
you've had to make a number of quick decisions, and need to
lessen the perception that you're "Quick Draw McGraw"
factions are divided, and you need time to build bridges between
or among them
the decision really should be made at a lower level
others' emotions are intense and time is needed for them to
you become emotional about a particular decision. Consider this
a warning that perhaps you should reconsider your motives
you've already succumbed to feigned immediacy, you're not alone;
most of us will make at least a few bad calls from rushing our
decision-making. Just keep in mind that the maturity of your
leadership ability is best revealed at such times, as are your most
important developmental needs.
let's assume immediacy is in fact required, and that the decision
you have to make is surrounded by tremendous acrimony. You're in the
midst of a veritable firestorm trying to manage multiple and
inflammatory impasses. Perhaps the very existence of the
organization or your own job is at risk. Certainly you'll need to
work hard to stay above all the noise surrounding the situation,
especially if you're caught amid the drama and distress of others.
Subordinating the emotionalism of others to your own well-developed
sense of judgment isn't easy, and there's no formula for how to do
it, but it helps if you have what I can "That Special Something"
when you're in the hot seat!
"something" must so infuse you, must be so characteristic of you,
that it floods your space and magnetizes others to you. It
determines whether your decision will elicit commitment, and whether
that commitment will be sustained over time. It requires courage,
but is not courage; it gives you strength, but is not strength; it
makes you resilient, but is not resilience.
self-confidence. Not arrogance; not superiority; not ego, but a
self-confidence that radiates steadiness, surety and wisdom in times
the best indicators of self-confidence is one's willingness to
choose the decision that is best for one's profession, or for one's
organization, regardless of the consequences to oneself.
Self-confidence doesn't automatically ensure that you'll get outcome
you're shooting for, and it doesn't mean anyone will actually
realize the impact or import of the decisions. You can't even count
on self-confidence being the catalyst that causes your adversaries
to reverse their positions and join your camp. But having
self-confidence does mean that you'll be able to face the problem,
weather the storm - and still be standing when the battle is over.
that in these firestorms, some decisions just won't feel right;
indeed you may have to make decisions that are actually
counterintuitive to you. At such times, key audiences know that the
decision you're facing is crucial, and they're holding their
proverbial breath waiting to see what you'll do. Keep in mind that
what you decide, and how you explain your decision, will define
you. So make sure the behavior you display at these times is the
behavior you want others to see.
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about Francie Dalton.
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