Quick Advice: “How to Handle an Important Leadership Decision”

Making good decisions is crucial to having a good life and a successful career. Bad choices can bring disappointment, pain and suffering not only to oneself, but almost always drags many others into the negative consequences.

In reflection, there is a lot we can learn about good decision makers from our leaders, mentors, and role models. One of my mentors, Col. Dick O’Grady was my boss twice and my peer three times and my friend for more than 40 years. When facing an important decision, here is how he handled it:

  1. He gathered information. He consistently reached out to his team to get ideas, data and insights on the problem and potential solutions.
  2. He analyzed the risk versus reward and how different solutions would help us achieve our mission, whether it was at the strategic 100,000’ level or the immediate 5,000’ tactical level of day-to-day management.
  3. He sought wisdom and pursued good judgment. In staff meetings, he listened to others, but his natural bent was to be very decisive and quick to act. It was common for him to pull aside one of his close confidants and ask them for their input. And he listened. He knew that he could come on too strong at times, so he used us to help him see things from other perspectives so he could operate wisely.
  4. He made a decision and acted confidently. Once he had sorted it all out and listened to other perspectives, he made a decision, and his team began to develop the plan and execute it.
  5. He was open to the debrief process. He and the leadership team would sit around and discuss key points—how is it working and how could it be done better? We were always working to improve.

It’s important to be decisive, but it’s also critical to make decisions based on good information and wise considerations that are grounded in strong values and good character.

You can also read and watch the entire coaching blog on this topic – “The 5-Step Formula for Leadership Decision-Making”






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