7 Ways to Be Decisive Without Being a Jerk
Confidence and correctness are not connected.
No one wakes up in the morning with the intention of failing during the day.
Decisiveness thinks it’s right when it’s wrong.
7 ways to be decisive without being a jerk:
#1. Stick with your expertise.
You better know what you’re doing if you’re decisive. We often succumb to expertise creep. Remember that an expert in one area is ignorant in many areas.
#2. Respect the horses in the barn.
If the barn is full of plow horses, find a field to plow.
You can whip a plow horse all you want, but he’ll never win the Kentucky Derby.
Never let the horses you wish you had prevent you from honoring the horses you actually have.
#3. Force yourself to seek advice.
Decisive leaders feel they know when they don’t.
Seek advice from someone who seeks your best interest and is willing to hurt your feelings.
#4. Practice timely optimism.
Goals about dieting should be made when your belly is growling.
You need realism when choosing goals and optimism when implementing. An optimistic goal-setter is doomed to disappointment and frustration.
People who aren’t climbing the hill underestimate the difficulty of climbing the hill.
Do a premortem after choosing a goal.
#5. Focus on what, not how.
Don’t be decisive about everything. Decide on what to do. Let competent others decide how to do it.
If you’re decisive, learn to shut-up and step back.
#6. Take responsibility for disappointing results.
A decisive leader who blames others for failure earns disengagement from the team.
#7. Learn to develop people.
Decisive leaders often struggle to develop people.
You might slow down a bit and bring others into the decision-making process. It will be good for you and you may develop others.
What decision-making suggestion seems most relevant to you?
What suggestions do you have for decisive leaders?
Did you see Friday’s post? HINGES OF DESTINY: DECISION-MAKING FOR LEADERS
Bonus article: The Effective Decision (HBR)
What a goldmine of wisdom nuggets! There is so much here I am going to use. #2 uses the horses in the barn setting to perfectly explain several important principles. Thanks for starting my Monday morning on the right track.
Thanks Jackie and best wishes for a great week.
I would like to fully agree with Jackie! This is packed with great wisdom.
Thanks Ron. Be well
Before making a decision, it’s important to separate and consider the “must have info/data” from the “nice to have info/data.”
These days leaders will never have perfect data but they still have to make timely decisions.
Thanks Paul. So true. Perhaps when data is inadequate and decisions need to be made, it would be good to make a short-term decision if possible. Cheers
Good advice for me when my “Patton streak” shows up, and for those I serve. I need to be that “person who has their best interests at heart and is willing to hurt their feelings.”
Thanks Wretch. Yes, it’s an interesting tension between tender and tough. If you ask me the ultimate character strength is being tender and tough. We tend to migrate to one or the other, but the secret sauce is expressing them together, if that is possible.
Relating this to the well-known Myers-Briggs TI psychology, the decision to be “tender” would translate to “Feeling,” and “tough” to “Thinking,” in the type indicator profile. So, indeed, it’s not a simplistic black/white type of decision to be made most of the time in this life, based as it is on this one dimension of a decider’s inherent decision-making make-up: primarily either Thinking or Feeling-based, the latter of which could mean being “tender” but also what may be viewed conventionally as being unfair, i.e., not following the established rules — e.g., advancing the career of a member of a traditionally “underserved population.”
When it comes to one’s “approach to life” or “how to live one’s life” — another dimension of the type indicator — you are, according to the MBTI, either a Perceiver or a Judger. The latter is the ostensible bad guy, since none of us like to be judged; the former, more mellow, leaving “time to think about it,” “to be fair,” and to remain open in his/her options to changing circumstances.
The problem comes in that we as a society are still tied, inextricably it seems, to the WWII military model of needing to “take the hill” and “seize the fort” immediately. IMHO, this is psychotic when it relates to normal life. If you haven’t seen the WWII film “The Thin Red Line” — not a great movie — but it well illustrates my point about war-time decision-making in the character of the star-studded general, played by Nick Nolke, dressing down the major and demoting him for failing to achieve his objective — because he had the “inner-direction” to see it as suicide for his men. In time of war, perhaps the general was correct in his decision. It’s just brilliant.