I seem to be confronted more and more with people who just can’t or won’t make a decision. They seem to forget that not making a decision is really making a decision and it is usually a bad one. He who hesitates is lost. By not making decisions on a timely basis you and your team become caught in “No Man’s Land”. Your non-decision is placing your team at risk to the competitors, your team morale is negatively impacted and you lose the respect of those who are following you.
What are some of the root causes of people becoming non-decision makers?
- I have found people who are fearful allow fear to freeze them in their tracks. It is almost like the deer in the headlight look. Remember what happens to the deer in the headlight? That indecisiveness can leave your team vulnerable.
- People who are perfectionist and technocrats tend to hesitate when it is time to execute a plan of action. You will never have all the information yet they need to wait for that last bit of detailed information and usually when that information is delivered to them, guess what, they need more information.
- Folks who are in over their heads tend to hesitate because they truly do not understand the situation that has been presented to them.
- Organizational politicians usually are not decisive people. This group always wants or feels the need to check with the boss to make sure he/she is approving of the decision.
Now look at that list above. Do any of the attributes of the people I mentioned match with the attributes of a great leader? A great leader has fear but overcomes that fear. We call that courage. A great leader doesn’t have to have every possible bit of information. Great leaders usually do just fine with the 80/20 rule. If they make a mistake, they admit it, learn from it and then move on to the next decision. Great leaders have the capacity to understand and breakdown complex issues and make the solution to the problems easy to communicate and execute. Great leaders do not have to check with the boss to get their approval before moving forward. Great leaders relish responsibility and they know they are getting paid to make tough decisions…. so they make them!
Organizations with a healthy corporate soul have great leaders leading them. So, the next time you are working with someone or find yourself hesitating, pull this blog out and decide. Do you want to be a great leader? Then, my friend, it is time to Fish or Cut Bait…. Make a Decision!