#ScaleItUpIn2023: No Decision = Bad Decision
A leader has to constantly make decisions. This also means constant attempts at prioritization. A lot of times this leads to procrastination and delays in decision making on critical items.
I believe that whenever we delay making a decision by putting it on the back burner to prioritize another, we have already made a decision. Only later do we realize that either the importance of the decision has reduced or many times, the urgency has increased. Essentially, a no decision, is a decision!
I attach a lot of credence to firm decision making. In fact as we move towards the end of the year, I would encourage you to take those decisions that were deprioritized through 2022.
While I am fully supportive of prioritization of tasks, I do think decisions should be made as they come up. Delaying indefinitely is a risky proposition. So, what could good decisions look like?
Let’s do it now!
Let’s not do it!
Let’s come back to it in a [fixed] time!
Lets find[proove] x,y,z by [fixed] time and then make a decision!
This is very important for a fast growing company where resources and time are always short. Something will always be more important and it’s likely that things will fall through the cracks.
I have always felt that moving towards more affirmative messaging is very helpful while leading a team. I try to use words like ‘can’ or ‘will’, versus words like “could” or “would”. This gives a clear signal to the team that a particular decision has to be implemented. If not now then later; but it’s not something that’s unimportant.
As leaders, you will always be faced with a dilemma to decide between what gets you business and what’s necessary for the organization and for your brand. Here are a couple of examples where it’s easy to not take a decision, which can essentially turn into a bad decision.
External relations - If your business requires you to create relationships with regulators or other external stakeholders, but also needs you to acquire market share and build a customer base, I have seen that most leaders prioritize the latter. However, these relationships are very important and will help your business succeed. So at times a leader will have to make tough decisions for long term success of the company.
Retention of talent - When a senior leader departs from the company, I have seen other leaders trying to focus on the work and processes that might break because of this leader’s exit. However at such times, the important decision is to find time to connect with your teams and try to assess any other possible flight risks. That should become your priority to ensure your high performing talent stays committed to the company.
But how do you make decision making easier?
Use the right tools- Tools like RAPID come in handy when you have to make decisions. I have spoken about the process of simplifying decision making at length in one of my previous posts.
Vulnerability is powerful- Decision making requires one to assess the risks involved as your decision may easily go wrong. In such cases, be vulnerable. Assess and acknowledge the risks to earn the trust of your team.
What should be Your Decision? Yes/No/ Decide after n days
Just know that there are no sure shot right decisions. However, one highly probable wrong decision is the “no decision”. So till the time you are deciding in favor or against or delaying it for a fixed timeline, you’re making the right decision at that time.
As we come to the end of the year, let’s revisit those pending projects and tasks and try to make some decisions!
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