On Leadership and Making Difficult Decisions

Making Difficult Decisions

Decision making skills are one of the most important skills required from a leader. Leaders are constantly making decisions on different aspects of their job, life, and society.

For some leaders, decision-making comes naturally; and for others, it often is a daunting task.

On Making Difficult Decisions

Some leaders have a structured process for making decisions and some base it off of their intuition. It really depends on how a leader thinks and what he is comfortable with.

But keep in mind, there is no one right way to make decisions.

Let’s look at some of the reasons why decision-making can become difficult and what leaders can do when faced with such a situation.

• Too Large to Handle

If the situation is of a large magnitude and the leader has little or no experience handling such a situation, he may not be able to effectively decide how to move forward. It could be physically or emotionally daunting for the leader to single-handedly come to a conclusion.

If one is not sure of their decision, they can always consult a few trusted colleagues before taking action but they shouldn’t shy away from it.

It is therefore very important to have a network of trusted confidantes around you and have that network of people on whom you can lean.

Of course, the leader should do due-diligence before taking a decision, but he should never be afraid to take action.

• Analysis Paralysis

A leader may sometimes go into a loop of thinking “what-if” scenarios or worst-case scenarios and never decide which path to take. This kind of thinking is sometimes termed as “analysis paralysis.”

It is important for the leader to know how much analysis is enough and when it gets in the way of decision-making.

The key to moving on from this stagnation point is simply to pick the best options with the facts that are known. Just pick.

• Being Paralyzed by Fear of Failure

Another reason for a leader to not be able to take action is fear of being judged by peers or fear of taking the wrong decision. This fear can sometimes paralyze the leader from taking any action whatever.

They could be so afraid of taking the wrong decision that they will not take any decision at all.

It is the fear of public failure. It is the fear of being judged. When this happens, it would be wise to team up with another person who can nudge this leader into taking action.

An Opportunity for Personal Growth

Difficult DecisionsWhat is important in these cases is for the leader to be able to recognize these situations as an opportunity for personal growth.

It is the natural tendency of human beings to feel a certain amount of pressure from peers or supervisor when dealing with a critical decision-making task.

The pressure and visibility of the situation is also determined by the position of the leader.

Sometimes the visibility and pressure can paralyze people from taking action.

Leaders should be able to not succumb to such pressures and be able to take a sound decision.

So, what type of difficulties do you regularly face in making difficult decisions? Are you paralyzed by facts or fears? Or are you decisive in making those hard decisions when they come your way? I would love to hear your thoughts!


Never miss an issue of Linked 2 Leadership, subscribe today here
Learn, Grow & Develop Other Leaders

Aditi Chopra
Aditi Chopra is an experienced leader in the software industry
She is a consultant, writer and a leader
Email | LinkedIn |  Web | Blog | Twitter | Books

Image Sources: media-cache-ec0.pinimg.com, thedebtprincess.com

L2L Contributing Author

1 Comment

  1. Jim Trunick on October 14, 2013 at 1:48 pm

    Any and all decisions, if made with your values in mind, is correct. Stand for Something, of Fall for Anything.

    Jim Trunick