How I Make Better Decisions – Faster

By June 29, 2020Leadership

As a leader, I am forced to make dozens of decisions every day. During this pandemic that has only multiplied.

Thankfully, years ago I learned the secret to making better decisions faster.

When I’m pushed for a quick answer – when everyone knows a decision needs to be made now, but without time to get all the information I might normally require to make a decision.

I empower the team to make the decision.

Sometimes I simply don’t have enough information or enough time to gather it, even though by position the decision would normally be mine to make. It happens frequently enough I need to have a plan for those occasions. There are simply decisions, which need to be made quickly, but I don’t know the parameters we need to make the best decision, as well as others on the team.

I could slow down progress and micromanage. Instead, I empower people to make decisions.

In times like this, the people on our staff:

  • Have more knowledge about the issue than I have.
  • Usually have an opinion of what we should do.
  • Often hope I’ll answer the way they want me to.
  • Won’t always share their idea until I ask for it.

In those times, I will ask a question, such as, “What do you think we should do?” or “Are you comfortable enough to put your name behind it?” or “What would you do if you were me?”

Then I go with their instinct – maybe even over my own.

Healthy leadership means healthy empowerment.

But, and this is key if you truly want people to give you input, I let them know I will back them in the decision.

And, equally important, I let them know they will be also held partially responsible for the outcome.

  • I’m still on the hook.
  • I will support them completely.
  • I am willing to stand fully behind them.

But I’ll follow their lead on the issue.

It grants them authority, allows them to buy into the decision and grows their leadership.

And it helps move the organization forward faster.

The leadership principle here:

If you want to lead people you have to trust them and let them own decisions.

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Ron Edmondson

Author Ron Edmondson

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Join the discussion 3 Comments

  • Mark says:

    I think in this only occurs in a perfect world. In most sectors, the least knowledgeable but highest ranking person makes the decisions. All those under said person are tasked with carrying it out, even if it is wrong. If things don’t go as planned, it is the fault of those who job it is to carry it out for not trying hard enough.

  • Mark says:

    What you have described is a perfect world. Most people see the least knowledgeable but perhaps the highest ranking person make the decision and everyone tasked with carrying it out even if it is wrong. If it does not work as intended, it becomes the fault of those underlings not correctly carrying It out, not the fault of the decision maker.

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