Moment of Decisiveness– ‘Turning Point’ Moment– Deciding Company Fate: Alert– Worst Decision Is Indecision…

Most important trait that a business leader can have is decisiveness… Decisiveness is the power to decide, make decisions, decision-making, take resolute action… It seems so simple but many business leaders get stuck at crossroads and are unable (or unwilling) to put the stake in the ground and decide…

In Latin, the word ‘decide’ breaks down as: to kill all other options, i.e.; the ‘cide’ part gives real meaning to words, such as; homicide, genocide… Thinking of a ‘decision’ in this way means that all other options are killed; they are gone– there is a certain finality to the matter…

According to Lynne Guey; since the digital age is all about ‘big data’ and there is so much information available that there is growing tendency to over-analyze the business… people (leaders) tend to think that regardless of where they are in decision-making process, there’s always more information out there that could help them even better determine the right course of action… According to John Whittaker; with so much information available, it’s easy for leaders to fall into ‘paralysis’ and not be able to make a decision. But the most important quality for a leader is decisiveness…

decide3 untitledBusiness is a contact sport and you can’t be afraid to make a mistake. You can always course correct if you need to, but you can’t make-up for failing to take action when action is needed. Making the wrong decision and course correction is better than missing the timing to take action altogether… Every decision must be made, but not every decision must be made ‘right now’. Leaders must know the difference between being unable (or unwilling) to make a decision and knowing proper time to make a decision…

Businesses must have direction and when leaders abdicate responsibility for decision-making the entire organization suffers and the result is confusion, mistrust… A quote attributed to 17th century French Cardinal de Retz says; there is nothing in the world that does not have a decisive moment and the center piece of great leaders is to know when, and seize that moment… No one wants to follow a leader who cannot make a decision; business leaders must know when and how to make decisions– they must be decisive… They cannot be a ‘deer in the headlights’ decision-maker…

In the article Be Decisive by Scott H. Young writes: Decisiveness is characterized by being firm, resolute, decisive… and from that strength of decisiveness must follow the ability to take action, but often questions arise on whether decisiveness causes hasty decision-making, which can result in costly mistakes…

But decisiveness is simply the ability to decide and the ability to decide is crucial in business, without clear decisions there is no action and there is no result… even if the decision is simply to do more research or brainstorming, a clear decision must be made, or it’s simply procrastination and waste of time…

Being decisive is a rational process, e.g.; review the information available, decide the best course of action (if necessary, get more information, or use the information already available), then simply make a decision with the facts available… Waiting longer is just delaying the inevitable, so decide even in the face of uncertainty… Most decisions are based on incomplete information, but the best decision at a given time is made with the information available at that time… Clearly ‘you don’t know what you don’t know’ but you still must make a decision, even if it’s adjusted later… 

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In the article Owning The Decisive Moment by nice writes: Any moment can be decisive, e.g.; for basketball player, it can be that moment when he/she decides whether to drive to the hoop for lay-up or go for the 3-pointer… For cyclist, it could be choice between passing a competitor or pacing he/she for the final lap… For gymnast, it might decision to assess the whole team’s performance and decide which moves in his/her own repertoire can best secure a medal…

To meet goals organizations must also rise to challenge of a decisive moment… Their goal must be to prepare for these decision moments before they arrive, and when they do, to use all the knowledge available to make the best decision and take the best action… Organizations must be decisive and learn from success and failure, and key to making good decisions is– getting right information, to right people, at right time…

In the article Decisiveness Drives Success For Companies by Greg Witz writes: Some people (leaders) really struggle with making decisions– they just cannot make-up their minds… But indecision or lack of decisiveness is costing companies billions of dollars… Opportunities are being lost, productivity is waning, morale is eroded for stakeholders in companies; employees, customers, partners, suppliers… which can seriously impact the very survival of the business…

According to business and economic analysts; cost for the lack of decisiveness (i.e., indecision or late decisions) in companies is responsible for lost opportunities, lackluster productivity… is in the billions of dollars. It’s has a domino effect– lack of timely decision-making impact the entire company and all stakeholders…

According to a large national construction company; they (company execs) dropped the ball by taking too long to make a decision, they lost out on the entire bidding process, which could have been worth over $2 million to the bottom line… Business is full of stories like this… but what’s makes the problem worse is that many businesses are living in fear, e.g.; disruptive markets, recession, downsizing, rightsizing… and it causes many businesses to be paralyzed when it comes to making ‘turning point’ decisions and taking critical actions…

Ask anyone at your office if they consider themselves– ‘decisive’; and you will probably be met with sweaty palms, racing pulses and the response of: Why do you ask? No one wants to be held accountable for what might be considered a wrong decision…

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In the article Effective Leadership: Decisiveness by Tim Morin writes: Dealing with the speed and complexity of a highly volatile global business environment is an everyday challenge… More than ever, leaders are being judged on the decisions they make and  how those decisions help or hurt their companies… The best leaders at all levels of an organization are involved in constant decision-making and the quality of the decisions are typically; sound, defensible, timely… especially in times of crisis and uncertainty. The accumulative effect of these decisions, determine the very fate of organizations…

A leader’s ability to make a high percentage of good decisions is critical to effectiveness of an individual, and success of the organization…

Of course, in the real world leaders must make decisions at the speed of business without always having the luxury of vetting every possible alternative or securing the thoughts and buy-in from every disparate stakeholder. Effective leaders must deal with ambiguity every day and decide and act without having the complete picture… However, most decisions should not be treated as a discrete choice, but rather as a ‘process’ that unfolds within an organization…

Leaders should follow well vetted process, which can vastly improves the odds of making the right decision and, as important, putting it into action… Further, the most leverage-able and therefore, most critical decisions are decisions about ‘people’, i.e., having right people talent, in right positions, at right time… is the best way to ensure good decisions; having ‘right’ people make ‘right’ decision at ‘right’ time will improve the  likelihood that– the best decisions are being made at all levels of the organization…

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Shift Alert: According to Rosemary DiDio Brehm; in some business ‘right now’– someone, somewhere, i.e.; employee, supplier, customer, partner… is experiencing a ‘turning point’ moment… Right now email is sitting in an inbox that could shift the fortunes of a business, or a voice mail could totally require the reinvention of a business, or outcome of a meeting may change a business forever… nothing ever remains the same– a business is always in transition and it requires all decisions to be decisive… and especially when business is comforted with crises involving events, such as; tipping point, turning point, inflection point…

Like it or not monumental shifts in business happen and they are common occurrences and it’s leaders responsibility to managing– around them, over them, through them… Effective leaders know that ‘turning points’ are both, threats and opportunities… and they must be managed with decisiveness…

According to Theodore Roosevelt; in any moment of decision; the best you can do is the ‘right’ thing, the next best thing is the ‘wrong’ thing, and the worst thing you can do is ‘nothing’… When it comes down to it decisions are rarely clear; even with a rational decision-making process; but the only way forward is take– a deep breath, gather courage, and be decisive– make the decision…