There is one constant in leadership and that is decision making or problem solving.
- Careers are built upon the timely and risky decisions a leader (or team of leaders) make.
- Careers are destroyed or derailed based on timely and risky decisions a leader (or team of leaders) makes.
- And to complicate things even further, the above statements are true for the decision that a leader doesn’t make.
Perspective to make optimal decisions comes through the process of co-creation of potential scenarios and a preferred future with other professionals and those in their circle of influence. If the decisions that leaders make are often critically important and risky with high stakes; how does a leader make better decisions? Often there isn’t all the time or forward indication desired to make these important choices in a timely fashion and minimize the risk of making the wrong choices. Get all the perspective you can is the key.
Perspective comes through co-creation of a scenario and future with other leaders and those in their circle of influence. This is where a leader needs a sounding board made up of people they can engage quickly and gain some necessary insight. It is times like these that enlisting a professional business coach can pay huge dividends. Co-creation is not only effective, but a very sustainable problem solving method.
Adaptive leaders are not perfect…they are agile. It is during challenging times in life and business that we are faced with some seemingly impossible decisions or choices. Will this decision jeopardize my business in the short or long term? Do I stay with this career or do I throw “caution to the wind” and do the riskier thing? The point I want to get a across is that some decisions are not going to easily be “killed” by an answer. You don’t know until you move on a commitment as to what the true end result will be.
Sometimes there is a “right or wrong” answer that seems clear…only to find out later…you would like a “do over”…a second chance. I like the metaphor of a submarine and when you are under cover below the surface. You only have so many chances to get it right (decisions are your torpedoes in this case). You had better make sure to “raise the periscope” before firing your torpedoes and do your very best to take it all in before you fire off all your assets.
Learning from tough decisions and failure can be the catalyst for your next chapter of personal and professional success. Regardless of the cost, a leader must redeem some value even if it is a tough, costly lesson. Adaptive leaders will make a bad choice and learn from it. They are resilient and abundantly confident. Their confidence lies in their ability to learn and less about “getting it right”.
Leaders need time to have reflection. This seems so intuitive and yet I find many business owners and leaders are so busy with business that they don’t have time to think. If you could only get a 5 minutes a day it is worth it to just stop and think. Being successful is more about learning and executing and less about being the brightest and richest. Slow down to speed up…it just may make you faster…and a better decision maker.
Next post….here’s a teaser.
- Culture in an organization is what it is because of leadership conversations. Or said another way the culture of an organization is nurtured or destroyed by the conversations of its leaders.
©2011 The Heartwood Group, LLC