Freedom to Decide

He asked her to marry him but she couldn’t give him an answer. She loved him. She wasn’t a decision maker.

Finally, he reiterated his love and desire for marriage but told her he needed her answer in two weeks. If she couldn’t decide by then, sadly, he would move on.

You might call it an ultimatum. From a business point of view, it was a deadline.


She always knew her answer was yes. However, fear paralyzed her. Twenty years later they have two children and a happy home.

Setting a deadline might seem harsh but it freed her to decide. Additionally, it enabled both of them to embrace a new beginning.

Deadlines create launching points.

For leaders

Realistic deadlines create urgency, refocus the team, motivate creativity, and enhance productivity.

Added benefit

Unfocused, indecisive leaders destroy morale and insult the ability of their team to execute. If you make a decision, great people can make it happen.

Indecisive leaders create teams that eventually turn on each other, create useless work, or begin making emotional irrelevant decisions.

Deadlines drain the drama by enabling meaningful work.

Deadline calendar

During the EntreLeadership seminar I recently attended, Dave Ramsey offered this useful decision making technique, “Write that deadline on the calendar as a reminder to pull the trigger.”

Best, better, unacceptable

Your best option is assigning deadlines when you assign tasks or decisions. If you didn’t assign a deadline, then go to the team now and set one. It’s unacceptable to let the decision making process drag on.

Beyond deadlines

A decision hasn’t been made until the outcome has a champion. Who’s responsible? Five words make all the difference, “Who does what by when?”


What are the benefits or dangers of setting deadlines?

What deadline setting tips can you suggest?


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