Over the years, one of the biggest mistakes I’ve encountered with leaders is the inability to commit – or put another way, the inability to make a decision.
I understand. After all, for many decisions, a great deal of money is hanging in the balance. In other cases, the wrong decision might damage a relationship. But the truth is, not making a decision is actually making a decision.
With our team at Cooke Media Group, we’ve done presentations to churches, ministry organizations, and nonprofits. Those presentations were usually received very well, and the potential client was very excited at the possibility of us working together.
But the leader just couldn’t make a decision, and we never heard from him or her again.
Sometimes, the leader is distracted. Other times, there are dissenting voices in the organization. But usually, it’s simply a leader who can’t decide. I actually had one CEO tell me privately, “When I make a decision, I feel guilty.”
Whatever the decision is about, if that’s ever happened to you, here are a few things to consider:
1) Delaying the decision won’t make it easier. The budget rarely changes, the timing gets worse, and the pressure grows. Pull off the bandaid quickly. It may hurt, but progress will happen.
2) How bad can it be? Most decisions aren’t rocket science, and even if it involves significant money, there can be off-ramps in the agreement. At least give it a shot. The vast majority of these decisions won’t crash the company, and who knows how positive it could be?
3) In today’s fast-moving world, the ability to make immediate decisions matters more than ever. I believe that one of the core competencies of future leaders will be the ability to make a decision under pressure. It’s one of the reasons I wrote my book, “Ideas on a Deadline: How to Be Creative When The Clock Is Ticking.” So order the book and start practicing.
The bottom line? Go ahead.
Make the decision.