3 Keys to Effective Decision Making for Leaders

b loehr - decisionsThis is a tale of two executives, Mr. D and Mr. G., and their different approaches to leadership and decision-making.

Mr. D arrived at XYZ Company eager to “get the lay of the land”, make connections with the department heads and staff, and get a feel for the people, the place, and the atmosphere. He observed and listened, and observed some more. He did not introduce new ventures and ideas right away but over time, shared his insights and philosophies. Mr. D led with a decisive, yet very approachable style. While he preferred to “bring people on board” rather than rule with an iron fist, when warranted, he could and would exercise his clout as CEO.

When approached by his secretary with relatively routine requests, he typically responded with “Give me a minute.” and then retreated to his office. An hour later, Mr. D would relay to the secretary his decisive, well thought out answer. His leadership team and staff both appreciated and had confidence in his “give me a minute” approach.

Mr. G succeeded Mr. D at Company XYZ. He arrived on the scene with a mile long list of ambitious plans and dreams. He jumped in with both feet, wasting no time in asserting himself as “head honcho.” He changed up everything, waving off suggestions and protests alike. His leadership style resembled that of an Army General who had little regard for the opinion of his troops, who were often caught in the crossfire following one of his rapid-fire, ill-suited decisions.

Once, when it was clear that he would have to significantly dial back his lofty plans, Mr. G remarked in a rare moment of clarity, “I often try to squeeze size 10 plans into size 5 shoes.” No truer statement had ever been uttered. Unfortunately, rather than allowing the experience to be a pivotal moment in his leadership journey, the moment passed with no changes to his think-on-your-feet approach. The next day found him shooting from the hip as always, with almost no regard for the fallout.

I bet you can easily guess whose years of leadership yielded the most growth at XYZ Company. The Company thrived under the confident leadership and thoughtful decision-making of Mr. D. The same could not be said of Mr. G’s often panic-mode-driven time at the helm.

Strong, effective leaders recognize the need for an iterative process when it comes to making decisions. The three key components of this repetitive strategy include:

  • Observation
  • Interpretation of the observed findings
  • Determination of appropriate interventions

Too often, either internal or external forces – sometimes both – push for an answer too quickly. As deadlines loom, patience grows thin and nerves become frayed. It’s times like these that prove the old adage, “haste makes waste” true. Hasty decisions waste time, money, and resources. They create weariness and stress that filter through the ranks.

The time it takes to back away and observe from a distance is worth the perspective it will yield. From a step away, the issues of concern are magnified, while elements operating smoothly also rise to the top. It’s like “getting on the balcony” to view what’s happening on the “dance floor” below – it allows a much clearer assessment. This “big picture” perspective can shed new and important light that will lead to a more effective decision.

At B. Loehr Staffing, we recognize how important decision making is – especially when it involves making the right hiring decisions for your company. Contact us today – we will match you with our best-fit Field Associates for all your staffing needs. After all, we aren’t the best because we’re the oldest – we’re the oldest because we are the best.

 

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