Monday, September 26, 2011

The Leader and His Decision

Greg's Photo (Phnom Penh)
One of the toughest responsibilities leaders constantly face is decision-making. Sometimes there are decisions that only the leader can make; this makes decision-making indispensable for progress. The inability of a leader to make quick and clear decision is detrimental your organization's progress on hold. A delayed decision is a delayed progression.

Why Leader Delays Important Decisions? 

1. The leader is unsure what to do
2. The leader is unwilling to take responsibility
3. The leader is afraid to take risks
4. The leader is not ready for the consequences
5. The leader is waiting for the proper time
6. The leader is weighing the best option

Ten Guidelines when Face with Tough Decisions

1. Don’t Rush to Make Important Decision
Although, some decisions are urgent and must be made immediately, others do not require you to act immediately. Premature decision brings improper result. Consider many angles before you act.

2. Don't Wait too Long
After praying and weighing the best option, make your decision known to your people. Waiting too long on important decision delays progress. 

3. Don't Try to Please Everyone
You need to decide regardless of the potential negative response. Trying to please everyone with your decision cripples the progress of your organization. There will always be people that will be not be happy with any decision. Strong leaders stand for what is right regardless of the outcome and the people's response. 

4. Make Sure you Have the Facts
Decisions made based on wrong information breed wrong results. I have seen leaders making important decision without gathering facts; the result was a disaster. It doesn’t hurt if you listen to many voices for the sake of facts. Even the most trusted source of information is insufficient.  
5. Get the support of your Key People
Just because you are a leader does not mean you make decisions alone. Of course there are decisions that only you will make, but never forget, there are people in your team. Before you decide on important issues, make sure the majority of your key leaders agree with the decision and direction you are about to make. If the majority of your key leaders do not agree, pray some more. Do your research deeper. If your key leaders buy into your decision, the resistance from the people will be lesser. 

6. Implement your Decision Slowly and carefully
When the majority of your people do not buy your decision, chaos will eventually follow. This is especially when initiating change. Even though change is the only constant, people do not like change. Because of this, you need to do it slowly. 

7. Go Against the Crowd
We all know that the majority is not always right, and going against the tide maybe the best route. At times, you have to make decision even if it is against the majority of the people. If you are sure that what you are about to decide is inspired by God, go ahead regardless of the people's response. Be willing to take responsibility when you do. If the people trust you, they will join you. Let me warn you though. You can only do this if you've got the full trust of your people. If they know you care about them, even if they don't agree, they will still follow. Don't do this unless they know you care for them enough. The leadership maxim, “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care,” is true. If you are a new leader in a new organization or church, learn this maxim well.

8. Admit When you Made Wrong Decisions
No one is infallible. Even the godliest leader makes wrong decisions. Admit that you are not infallible being, therefore, your decisions are not infallible either. Be quick to admit when your decisions are wrong. Don't fall into the trap of thinking that because you are the leader and you represent God, your decision must be always right. You gain more people’s respect when you admit your decision is wrong. Admitting your mistake does not make you less effective.

9. Be Consistent, but Learn to Compromise
Stick to your decision; this is necessary. Don't forget, consistency matters; let the people know you are a leader with principle.  Nonetheless, you need to know when to be tough and know when to be gentle. Don't forget that compromise is not always a bad thing. It has a place in leadership. Learn to bend, when the big picture is at stake.  

10. Learn that, when it comes to Decision-making, Timing is Everything
It is possible to make right decisions but done in a wrong time. When the timing is wrong, even if the decision is right, it does not bring good results.