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Decision Remorse – It’s the Buyer’s Remorse of Leadership

Don’t be surprised after a major decision if you struggle with decision remorse. It’s real.

I remember talking with a young leader. He had made a major decision for his organization. As a person of faith, he had prayed about it. He had consulted wise counsel and acted methodically. In fact, I had personally walked with him through the process of change management and was impressed with the way he handled things. I felt he had made a good decision for the organization.

The decision was made. He communicated it to key leaders. Finally, the steps were in place to move forward.

Then reality sank in for this leader. 

It was a big decision – perhaps the biggest he had ever made as a leader. This decision would alter things for years to come. Therefore, people would be greatly impacted by it.

As the reality set in his mind started to play tricks with him. He questioned himself.

What if I made the wrong decision?
Was there a better decision?
What if I was wrong?

He began to panic.

I was glad we were still talking at this point in the process. I was able to share with him a principle I learned years ago in leadership.

Sometimes as leaders we suffer from decision remorse.

Just like buyers remorse – what happens when you buy something and then temporarily wish you hadn’t – leaders often suffer from decision remorse. With every major decision in life or leadership, decision remorse is a possibility.

It’s a temporary setback. A momentary lapse in assurance develops. Suddenly a gut check of reality makes you question your decision. It can be natural to question yourself at this point. You’ve invested a lot of energy on a major decision and now you are faced with making it happen.

My words to him and my words to you is to trust the process. Trust your instinct and the system of decision-making you used.

Don’t allow decision remorse to keep you from celebrating the joy of what’s to come.

This doesn’t mean you don’t evaluate. It doesn’t mean you won’t make bad decisions. But if you strategically and methodically made the decision, now is the time to implement.

Check out my leadership podcast where we discuss issues of leadership nuggets in a practical way. Plus, check out the other Lifeway Leadership Podcasts.

Ron Edmondson

Author Ron Edmondson

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