5 Power Tips for Powerful Decisions

Frustration, fear, and stagnation are the result of not making decisions. How many times have you heard, “My boss can’t make a decision.” But, leaders who make rash decisions lose credibility.

Success depends on decisions that drive useful behaviors.

flag-pole it

5 causes of bad decisions:

  1. Over-optimism. Prepare for the worst, not the best.
  2. Isolation.
  3. Ignorance.
  4. Personal agendas.
  5. Emotion: Short-term perspectives tend toward emotion; long-term toward thinking.

5 Power Tips for Powerful Decisions:

#1 Buy-in:

It doesn’t matter how decisive you are, if your team isn’t with you.

The power of decisions is multiplied by the number of people who buy-in. Foot-dragging, second-guessing, and sabotage weaken decisions.

Forget about coercion; think buy-in.

If you want them engaged after the decision, engage them in the decision-making process. Engaging others isn’t consensus decision-making. Make people feel heard and they’re more likely to embrace your decision, even if they disagree.

Get buy-in from key players before going public.

#2. Input not consensus:

Engage people in gathering data, offering perspectives, and making suggestions, but make your own decisions. Ask things like:

  1. What matters?
  2. What options are available?
  3. What could go wrong?
  4. Who might have experience in this area?
  5. How do mission, vision, and values inform this decision?

When seeking input, relieve pressure by using the impersonal plural. What option(s) are available?

Avoid asking, “What would you do?”

#3. 10-10-10

Expand perspective on decisions by asking:

  1. In 10 minutes, how will we feel about this decision?
  2. In 10 months?
  3. In 10 years?

Imagine you’ve made the decision. Use 10-10-10.

(From the book: 10-10-10, by Suzy Welch.)

#4. Sleep on it:

Make the decision and go to bed. Don’t go to sleep mulling over options. Imagine the decision is made.

 Go public only after sleeping on it.

#5. Flag-pole it:

Test decisions by running them up the flagpole with coaches, confidants, or outsiders. “I intend to….” What opportunities, obstacles, or strategies arise?

What causes bad decisions?

What decision-making tips help leaders make good decisions?