Nick Tasler, in his book Why Quitters Win,* defines three primary sources of decisiveness – nature, training, and incentive. Leaders make effective decisions for different reasons. Not being able to make decisions is a decision in itself, which can set up negative dynamics…mostly unintended consequences. How many traffic accidents have happened because of an indecisive driver? Another driver anticipates what’s transmitted and then changed, then it’s a wreck, as we say. I’m not skilled at driving in snow. When I stop to decide what to do, I then get stuck.
I have written about having a strategy for the enterprises that we lead. This is a foundation for making effective decisions. Just making a decision is not really the point, is it? The point is making an effective decision and then evaluating that decision in action. Decide, evaluate, revise, and recommit is my motto.
After taking a preference test, the Myers-Briggs, I discovered that I was an ENFJ. The “J” in the formula means that when I make a decision, it releases my stress. The other perspective is that of the “P” who feels stress when making a decision. The “P” constantly wants more information to make a decision. The “J” is good with the information at hand and makes the decision to get on with it.
There is a weakness in both of those paradigms. The “P” might wait too long to make a decision while gathering even more information, and the opportunity might disappear. The “J” might make a decision prematurely without all the necessary information. The best balance is created with both of these preferences working together to create the right formula for making effective decisions.
As a musical conductor, I know that being definitive with motions, looks, and emotions creates a similar response. In effect, the conductor gets what the ensemble sees. This principle is not very different in the boardroom or workplace. The culture responds to the leader in kind.
A decisive and inclusive leader inspires decisiveness as a cultural norm in a high-performing culture.
Confusion or decisiveness. What’s the preferred choice?
The Transformational Leadership Strategist TM