by Rene Boer
Originally on March 20, 2017
*To help our readers navigate their businesses and organizations during the COVID-19 pandemic, we are re-posting this relevant blog post from March 20, 2017
A few years ago, Gino Wickman shared his Ten Commandments of Good Decision Making in his eBook, “Decide! The One Common Denominator of All Great Leaders.”
Each commandment is a gem but the one that resonates with me most is: “Thou Shalt Not Rule by Consensus.” Obeying this simple commandment reassures people that the leader is willing and able to make a tough decision.
In meetings, after everyone has weighed in on an issue, it’s time to decide.
Sometimes the decision is clear cut. But, sometimes it’s not so clear. Someone has to decide. In that moment, a leader must lead. Sadly, to avoid conflict or taking an unpopular stand, some leaders look for consensus. But the people are looking for a decision. When the leader takes the middle ground or puts off the decision entirely, frustration mounts.
In their book, “The Buck Stops Here: The 28 Toughest Presidential Decisions and How They Changed History,” Thomas J. Craughwell and Edwin Kiester Jr. illustrate tough decisions made by presidents. Here are three:
When decisions are made for the comfort of individuals instead of for the greater good of the organization, bad things happen. We enter the realm of those “cold and timid souls that know neither victory nor defeat.”
There is an element of risk to every decision. Avoid the following:
As Teddy Roosevelt said, when faced with making a decision, “the best thing you can do is the right thing, the next best thing is the wrong thing, and the worst thing you can do is nothing.”