What skills characterize a good leader? Clear communication, high intelligence, self-confidence? What about decisiveness? We often put quick decision-making high on the list – but should we?
How We Make Decisions
Decision-making is a process. We gather the facts, identify our options, weigh alternatives and then find a plan of action that we’re most comfortable with. Making decisions quickly or automatically means we either have the knowledge or acumen to weigh our options efficiently or it may mean we’re taking shortcuts in our mind developed over years of practice.
When we’re short on time, we want leaders to guide the way without wasting a second. Who wants to follow a General who hesitates in the thick of it? When you have the ability to see the “right” next step, it builds confidence in those who follow you.
However, if leadership is making the same or similar choices each time, that may be just as detrimental as those who take their time to come to a decision or even reconsider their choice after the fact. Taking the shortcut to make the same quick decision time and time again leads to complacency, siphons confidence and misses the risks required to reach growth and innovation.
Why Leaders Should Change Their Minds More Often
Let’s say the information required to make an informed decision changes the day after you move forward with a significant shift in your business? Logically, this means you should take at least a moment to reevaluate the conclusions you made yesterday, right? If you were considering breaking ground on building a new open-concept office for your corporation in February 2020, wouldn’t you reevaluate once March hit?
According to Jeff Bezos, people who make the right choices tend to make decisions in a unique way, “people who were right a lot of the time were people who often changed their minds… It’s perfectly healthy – encouraged, even – to have an idea tomorrow that contradicted your idea today.”
Contradicting Yourself Can Build Confidence
If you stick with a decision just to be decisive, it will poison a once effective and positive choice making it what inspires doubt in others, not confidence. Although it’s not helpful or healthy to reevaluate every decision and rethink it, it is important to be open to new points of view and new understandings. Don’t let pride get the best of you.
You can consider new perspectives and reevaluate your ideas while also being a decisive leader. Your first choice wasn’t a mistake that you’re now fixing with a new one, it was the best option at the time and now you’re choosing the best option again. Lead with transparency and that will be clear.
If you need help evaluating your options or growing your leadership team, we can help. With years leading executives and molding the choices that turn to business success, we’ve seen how both decisiveness and reconsidering your choices can lead to fruitful returns. Call 973-809-5466 to speak with a professional at JK Consulting Group to get started.