I think Yogi Berra had it right when he said: “If you come to a fork in the road, take it.” Lately I seem to be surrounded with leaders who can’t make decisions. The executive director of a major nonprofit told me recently, “When I make a decision, I feel guilty.” In some cases, leaders who shy away from decisions make the horrible error of farming decisions out to a committee. How many churches, nonprofits, and businesses today are run by “leadership teams,” or “marketing teams?” Teams are great for brainstorming and executing strategy, but at some point, one person needs to make a choice. As I’ve said before – in military terms – a team can take the hill, but a leader has to decide which hill to take.
On a national scale, you can see that problem with the economy. It’s one of the most critical problems of our time, and yet little is happening because of the lack of bold decision making. According to 2011 research from Stanford University economists Nicholas Bloom and Scott Baker and the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, uncertainty over which strategy the government will pursue is actually making things worse. They call this “policy uncertainty” and according to the trio, it’s up more than three-fold since 2000.
At whatever level of leadership you may be in, start making decisions. You may have brilliant employees, but they’ll accomplish very little without a clear vision and direction. In fact, I’d rather you make the wrong decision than no decision at all.
Because after all, NOT making a decision, is actually making a decision. And I can guarantee you, it’s the wrong one.
Is there a decision right now that you’ve been putting off? What will it take for you to make it?