Home > Ideas and Philosophy > Leadership: Case Study on Decision-Making

Leadership: Case Study on Decision-Making

I think about the new leaders companies promote at the start of their fiscal years (or whenever such is scheduled), and in particular the challenges these new leaders have to face as part of the changes in their roles.  This brings back memories of a time when I found myself in a situation that required me to make a critical decision.

Without going into the details, I’ll just say that if the situation turned out badly, it would have impacted a lot of people.

Anyway, reflecting upon this incident as a case study, there are at least three lessons we can learn about decision-making.

1. You will never have all the information you need to make a decision – do your best to make a decision anyway, based on the best available information that you have. 

You will find yourself in many situations in work in particular and in life in general where you need to make a decision with little or even no information to work with; do your best anyway with what you have.  Being indecisive is NOT an option.  Doing nothing keeps you stuck and stagnant, and that’s the last thing you want.  

2. Don’t limit yourself to only the options available to you – be creative and open enough to see if there’s something else that can be explored.  

Just because these are the choices given to you it doesn’t mean there isn’t even the remote possibility of another option.  For every “Yes or No,” “True or False,” or “Go or No Go” out there, there is still the possibility of a “Maybe,” “Both,” or “Delay For Now,” respectively, or something else entirely for the situation. 

3. Sometimes, the best decision you can make is to ask for help. 

There is no shame in asking for help.  It takes great humility to admit when you really can’t competently and confidently decide, and so you’ll need to escalate and ask for help.  This is not a sign of weakness but of wisdom.  The last thing you want is to be the fool who thinks he knows everything and to have the consequences of foolish decisions confirm one’s idiocy in the matter.  

It’s a good lesson for people who will assume new leadership roles soon.  It’s very good for me to be reminded of the same, too.  Being able to make the right decisions is a crucial skill in life. 

Categories: Ideas and Philosophy

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