Leadership at one of its most basic levels is the science and art of decision making. To be a leader is to be someone who makes decisions.
This past week I had the honor to present a webinar for PLAN titled “How Leaders Make Decisions.” The webinar explored ideas such as “kind” vs “wicked” environments, the dangers of decision making fallacies, and how to bring a team together around a decision. The script of the talk is available in the Articles section of my web site.
Here is a short sample of what I discussed:
We make decisions constantly ever day of our lives. Most of our decisions are small and only affect ourselves. However, leadership decisions directly affect others, ranging from a small few to an entire organization. Therefore, it is important for leaders to understand the art and science of decision making not only for themselves, but their colleagues and customers.
Decision making can be very challenging for leaders because of the impact. Since leadership decisions often have public implications, leaders are subjected to second guessing regularly. Psychologically the very act of making a decision is stressful because of the risk of making the wrong choice. Every decision we make means all other options were rejected in favor of one choice. This sense of finality can be scary. Sometimes people avoid making a decision altogether. However, not making a decision is a form of decision making with consequences in itself. Deferring decisions may be useful at times, but often there comes a point where making a decision is unavoidable.