on May 7, 2020
*To help our readers navigate their businesses and organizations during this rapidly shifting time, we are re-posting this relevant blog post from July 27, 2017
“The roads of the world are paved with squirrels that couldn’t decide.”
This insight was shared by a fellow EOS Implementer® at one of our quarterly gatherings. It paints a very clear mental picture, doesn’t it? The ability to make a decision is one of the characteristics of all great leaders. Some people are great at making decisions; others find it challenging.
Decisions exist on two levels – intellectual and emotional. Our intellect tells us we “should” do something — expand our business, resolve that personnel issue, refine our marketing plan, work fewer hours, reduce overhead.
However, until we understand the emotional side of making a decision, we will never have the gut feeling that something “must” change. Once we understand the necessity of changing “shoulds” into “musts”, we can take the necessary steps to decide. The emotional level becomes the pivotal point where we gain leverage.
Making decisions also requires we not manage by consensus. Using the “majority rules” approach to decision making will ultimately result in making the wrong decision. Why? Because voting doesn’t get to the heart of the issue at hand. Voting lets us off the hook and moves us to the easy solution.
Leadership teams often talk about how painful it is to make a decision. They worry about hurting someone’s feelings, or making a mistake, or increasing their workload once a decision is made.
Think about the amount of pain and suffering you are enduring by not making a decision, as well as the stress your employees may be feeling. You and/or your team have been miserable for days, months, and perhaps even years because you avoided making a decision you knew was necessary.
However, once the decision is made and implemented, a sense of calm settles in. Life becomes a little easier, oftentimes leadership executes better, and everyone is thankful a decision was made.