Being decisive and having the ability to take timely, clear and firm decisions is an essential quality of leadership, but the type of decision needed will vary according to the circumstances.
Taking decisive action does not mean making decisions on the spur of the moment. Although that may sometimes be necessary in emergencies, and occasionally desirable for other reasons – for example, if the right decision is obvious – the correct definition of “decisive” in this context is “positive”. The true leader must approach decisions confident, being aware of what must be taken into account and fully in command of the decision-making process.
Understand what kind of decision is required from you, and do not be afraid to change the decision if circumstances subsequently alter.
“Try never to make decisions when under extreme time pressure.”
Taking your time being decisive
Do not make a decision immediately unless the solution is obvious. Study the options open to you and weigh up all the pros and cons.
“If and when decisions misfire, take fast action.“
Making Fast Decisions
It is important to be able to assess whether a decision can be made quickly or whether it can wait. For example, if a good customer demands an instant discount, you have to decide on the spot whether to grant the concession in order to keep the business and the customers goodwill. However, if you are considering a programme of price cuts on your own initiative, you can decide what to do when you are read. Good decision-makers often do make instant decisions – but then they asses the long-term implications.
“Never postpone vital decisions – make them quickly.“
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