My client kept saying, “Once I know whether I’m going to get this promotion, I will …”  She put her life on hold without realizing that waiting doesn’t change what’s happening now.

What Are You Missing?

Although we don’t like to admit it, fear is usually the reason we keep looking to the future for certainty.  We may feel safer avoiding a tough conversation or the risk of making the wrong decision but what opportunities might be missed if we wait?

  • Making a relationship better
  • Broadening or deepening our skills
  • Exploring a new opportunity

Get Out of Your Holding Pattern

I invite you to get out of your holding pattern by:

  1. Identifying what is keeping you there
  2. Envisioning what you want instead
  3. Taking the first step toward that vision right now…

If you list the top five attributes of an effective leader does humility make the list?  Research confirms that humble leaders are more effective.  Admitting you don’t have all the answers creates opportunities for learning and builds trust, establishes credibility and provides an example of how to deal with uncertainty.

Humble leaders:

  • Check their egos at the door
  • Share their mistakes
  • Forgive failure
  • Empower and inspire others
  • Make decisions for the greater good
  • Invite feedback
  • Attract top performers and engender loyalty

Rick Warren explains that “true humility isn’t about thinking less of yourself; it is thinking of yourself less.”  Picture Abraham Lincoln, Mahatma Gandhi, Nelson Mandela and Malala Yousafzai.  What humble leader might you emulate?

Do you work in a 24/7 environment?  Many of my clients tell me that they could avoid being constantly on call if their colleagues were more effective decision makers.  According to a Bain & Company survey of almost 800 companies worldwide, this is a common problem.  Most people rated their company as less than effective at making decisions.  Have you been frustrated by someone who micromanages and slows down the decision-making process?  Or by someone with analysis paralysis?

The authors of “The Decision-Driven Organization” in the Harvard Business Review recommend assessing critical decisions to determine whether they are:

  • Major decisions like a change in strategy or a capital investment that has significant stand-alone impact
  • Minor day-to-day decisions like customer discounts or  changes in product specifications that together can lead to success or failure of a pricing strategy

When you have determined which decisions are critical, decide where in the organization those decisions should be made. Some decisions are better made at the field level, others at the regional or corporate level.  Many decisions require input from multiple levels.

It is also important to recognize different decision-making styles.  Leaders with engineering or other technical backgrounds may prefer a lot of details and need to learn to make decisions without all the information.  The ready, fire, aim types need to slow down and consider their options more carefully. These coaching issues come up frequently in my practice and it takes time to change ingrained behaviors.

The Bain study found a strong correlation between decision making and financial performance.  It is worth taking the time to assess the decision-making effectiveness of your organization and to address necessary adjustments.

If you or a colleague could be a more effective decision-maker, contact me at