Leaders are naturally inclined to make good decisions, even when they are not a popular choice. Sometimes, making the right decision can be agonizing, but committed leaders persevere. While many leaders know how to make good decisions, they may not always act accordingly. Consequently, opportunities are lost, credibility is questioned, and results may fall short of expectations. In this article, we look at the principles around good decision-making and also how to make decisions with confidence.
Why Leaders Sometimes Struggle to Make Good Decisions
Leaders may struggle to make good decisions when they:
- Opt for the path of least resistance
- Allow opposing opinions to sway or intimidate them
- Lack of confidence to make difficult decisions
- Disregard or lose touch with their intuition
- Are not courageous enough
- Overlook inclusive, caring, and fair values
If everyone made the right decision, there would be less need for strict regulations or employment laws.
The Impact of Regulation
When leaders know how to make good decisions, unfair dismissals, discrimination, and disrespectful behaviour are minimized. Consultations with employees affected by potential redundancies are carried out, and work-life balance is prioritized. This is because the leader understands that regulations and legislation can be there to help them not hinder them. They do not view regulation or legislation as barriers, but rather as opportunities. They are opportunities to help the leader make well-considered decisions.
However, businesses often find regulations burdensome and limiting. In some cases, employers may view regulations as barriers, while disgruntled employees may exploit them to their advantage. While regulations, guidance, and employment laws are necessary to protect both parties, exceptional leaders don’t need them to determine the right course of action in most situations.
Guiding Principles for Making Good Decisions
Exceptional leaders rely on guiding principles to make good decisions, which include:
- Establishing clear and practical guidelines and policies
- Setting accessible and achievable standards for all activities
- Respecting employees’ personal lives while expecting their best effort at work
- Prioritizing employees’ well-being to improve customer satisfaction
- Managing diverse perspectives while uniting the team
- Appreciating the benefits of diversity within the company
- Ensuring the business’s survival and growth, understanding its impact on employees
- Maintaining openness, honesty, and transparency
- Treating employees fairly while enforcing boundaries
- Utilizing regulations and guidance constructively to improve recruitment and management expertise
The Risks of Poor Decision-Making
When leaders fail to manage differences, prioritize quick outcomes over employee well-being, or misunderstand the importance of making the right decision, negative consequences may arise.
Uncooperative employees, who disregard the goodwill and contractual terms of their employment, can create challenges for struggling businesses. Additionally, employees’ resistance to change can hinder a company’s growth. Exceptional leaders address such attitudes and behaviours early on to prevent complications.
Employers must recognize the importance of skilled leadership, rather than blaming regulations for their challenges. Employees should understand their role as an asset and fulfil their contract to the best of their ability.
Ultimately, the employment contract should be a mutually beneficial arrangement. For leaders who aspire to excel, the key is simple, making good decisions.
How To Make Good Decisions With Confidence
When you’re the boss, you are expected to make big decisions. Unfortunately, it’s very possible to reach the pinnacle of your career without having to make big decisions on your own. If you are facing such a task for the first time, it’s important that you keep these five tips in mind about how leaders make big decisions with confidence.
1. Reverse Your Role
If you want to act with confidence, take a moment to look at things from the bottom. Think about how you receive news of change when others give it to you. Do you immediately question them? Do you doubt their every move? If you are like most people, you probably don’t. The people to whom you announce your big decisions likely feel the same way about the things you do. If you can remember how people actually react to major decisions, you can be more confident in delivering the news.
2. Own Your Decisions
A huge part of confidence is based on the way you carry yourself. If you want to make a big decision with confidence, you have to own the fact that the buck stops with you. You are the be-all and end-all when it comes to these decisions, and it’s perfectly natural for you to take pride in that fact. This doesn’t make you infallible, of course, but it does mean that you can trust yourself with the responsibility that you already have. Allow yourself to own your decisions and you’ll feel more confident when you carry them out.
3. Act On Facts
One of the best confidence boosters is knowing that you are right. Before you embark on a major change, make sure you do a little bit of homework. If you work for a company like ACN, for example, you’ll want to do your research on the company’s prior ventures in your areas of exploration. Taking the time to look at cold, hard facts is a good way to remind yourself that you are right – and an even better to way to remember that your decision comes from a place of proper education and expertise.
4. Allow Input
Sometimes, it’s a good idea to allow others to buy into your idea. If you’re confident in your own abilities, there’s nothing wrong with allowing others to gain some input. Allowing people to question you might seem like it can undermine your confidence, but it actually builds the perception that you know what you are doing. Allowing input – carefully controlled, of course – allows those who work for you to see that you care about what’s going on enough to put your ego aside. Taking input from others can build up your confidence because it allows you to allow others to work through your processes and come up with similar solutions.
5. Don’t Be Afraid To Fail
Finally, take some time before you announce your decision to think about worst-case scenarios. Realistically, what can happen when you fail? What will you do if the worst comes to pass? Once you have a game plan in place, you can realize that failure probably won’t doom your career or your company. Acting with the knowledge of being about to salvage any situation can give you more confidence when your choices involve taking major risks. Failure is a part of life – and how you manage it will directly impact how confident you seem to others.
Confidence requires practice, effort, and a willingness to take risks. Make intelligent decisions, own your successes and your failures, and don’t be afraid to seek support. If you can do all that, you can move forward with any major decision confidently.
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