As a leader, you’re most powerful tool can also lead to your biggest mistakes.
This tool: your decision making.
You are the decisions you make. Your ability to grow your team or business relies on the decisions you make (or do not make). You have many of them to perform each day, too.
It never ends.
Problems, questions, and situations hit you from all directions, and they all need YOU to make a decision.
This is the life of a leader.
The right decisions catapult you to the top.
The wrong ones… well, they lead to your biggest mistakes yet.
How To Hack Your Decision Making Like The World's Smartest People Do
Making the “right” decision at all times may not be possible. We all make mistakes, and you won’t hit the nail on the head each time.
But there are certain guidelines you can follow that improve your chances..
This is how successful, smart, progressive leaders approach their decisions-making, and the good news is you can do the same.
This is how:
After interviewing 163 successful leaders for my latest book ‘The Successful Mistake’, one of the biggest takeaways I took was that successful people DO NOT rush their decisions.
They take their time.
More important, they are not afraid to take a step back and consider what the “right” decision is.
This is key.
So many people come across a problem, and they jump into a decision straight away. Sometimes your gut-instinct serves you well, but often it does not. Your job isn’t to make the quickest decision, but rather to make the correct one.
As such, the best thing you can do (each day) is reserve pockets of time for reflection.
There are two forms of reflection that will help you here:
- Proactive reflection
- Reactive reflection
Reactive reflection is the ability to take a moment before you make a decision. Don’t react. Think. Take it in. Spend a few seconds… minutes… hours… days… to make the right call.
Proactive reflection focusses on you taking your day by the scruff of the neck, and reserving pockets of time to sit back, smell the roses, and reflect.
Such reflection helps you spot issues before they arise.
Such reflection helps you remain calm throughout the day..
2: Involve Others
On the outside, successful leaders may come across strong, assertive, and inspiring. They come up with the ideas. They make success happen.
Here’s the thing… the truth is often less black and white.
Show me a successful leader, and I’ll show you a group of people who surrounds that leader.
It always takes a team. Few individuals create greatness on their own. So if you want to make the best decisions, don’t take the whole load.
Involve other people. Speak to them. Ask their opinion. Gather their thoughts. Observe them.
It may be down to you to make the final call, but that’s not to say you come up with the answer on your own. Those who try to do this fail time and time again. It’s their ego that directs them; their own insecurity.
Successful leader are no loners. They involve others, and so should you.
3: Learn (Always)
If there’s one constant in life, it’s that life itself provides lessons (always).
The problem is, we often shut ourselves off from this.
We get caught up in the hustle. We lose ourselves in our ego. We forget what we started in the first place, and we lose sight of our purpose and what we’re building.
A true leader never has all the answers; they never have it “figured out”.
They learn at all times. They question everything they come across.
Each success provides a lesson.
Each failure provides a lesson.
Each decision… you guessed it, provides a lesson.
What you do with these lessons is up to you..
But each time you come across a successful leader who seems to make one great decision after another, you will find a person who embraces the art of learning (at all times).
They read. They watch. They observe. They question. They reflect.
There’s no secret to their success. There’s no magical elixir to powerful decision making. It’s simple, yet as with most simple things in life, it’s hard to adhere to.
But if you follow these three decision making tips… well, you may find yourself climb the ladder you wish to climb.