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The Hardest Decisions a Leader Makes

By November 30, 2011Leadership

Leadership is full of decisions…

Some decisions become routine…

Others are difficult to make…

Recently I asked online: What’s the hardest decision you have to make as a leader?”

Here are some responses I received:

  • Dealing with lower performing team members in a high expectation culture.
  • Being told you have to eliminate _______ number of people from your team.
  • When it’s time to stop (or pass the torch).
  • Having to make a decision when all the facts aren’t known and a direct path to take is unclear.
  • Asking for help with an addiction, affair, mental disease, marriage, etc.
  • Transitioning a church from traditional to more modern.
  • Closing down a ministry to consolidate servants for efficiency.
  • Choosing between the good of the person versus the good of the organization.
  • Making the call you know needs to be made but it will cost you your job for making it.
  • Firing friends.
  • To disagree or go against something that your boss says or wants..or to call out the boss on areas where they need improvement.
  • Knowing when to stop banging my head against the same wall & when to keep pushing.
  • Finding the proper balance between personal life and the organization that you serve?
  • Firing people; dealing with backsliders; communicating with difficult personality types,recruiting
  • Saying no when you know there will be conflict.

Obviously, it appears, the hardest decisions in leadership involve people.

  • What would you add to the list?
  •  What ‘s the hardest decision you’ve made as a leader?
  •  Which of these is most difficult for you?

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Ron Edmondson

Author Ron Edmondson

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Join the discussion 5 Comments

  • Which of these is most difficult for you?

    I think that

    — firing people
    — closing down a function/division to consolidate the operations

    will be the hardest ones to execute.

  • TJ says:

    As a teacher, I have to lead my students everyday. Prioritizing is hard for me. It's often tough to prioritize what they need to learn, since there's so much to teach. Sometimes it's hard to balance how much they can handle with challenging them to do more. It's also hard to figure out how to help everyone, since there's a number of different ability levels and different ways that each kid learns.

    You're right; the hardest decisions involve people. We're all different, and it's hard to meet everyone's needs and desires.