The right decision made at the wrong time is a bad decision. The right time to make a decision is when you have as many facts as you can get to make it. Sometimes it will be all the facts, sometimes it will be enough facts and sometimes you’ll have to make a decision with less facts than you would want.
But if you intend to lead then you have to make decisions period!
Once you have all the facts available, whether you believe it’s enough facts or not, you must make a decision. Deciding not to make a decision or deciding to delay a decision IS A DECISION and it is frequently the wrong decision. In fact, it’s worse than a wrong decision because a wrong decision can be fixed, a “non-decision” often cannot.
I see people all the time who have the facts required to make a decision and yet just can’t bring themselves to make it. They think and think, rethink and rethink, sleep on it and still don’t come to a decision.
When they finally decide something it’s often too late to have the positive impact that a more timely decision would have had.
I believe one of the major causes of poor decision making is a lack of awareness of values, vision, and mission.
When faced with a decision ask yourself how each possible decision will align with your values. Does the decision get you closer to your vision or not? Does the choice you would make “fit” with your mission?
Here’s the real challenge: when asked, most people can’t clearly state their values, either their personal values or the values of their organization. Most every organization has some sort of vision and or mission statement but they are no better than a slogan unless people know what they are and actually align themselves to them. A vision and mission statement should be used to guide every decision made in the organization.
If something doesn’t get you closer to your vision then why on earth would you do it. If something is contrary to your values or the values of your organization then your choice is clear…and much easier.
When you know AND live your values every decision is easier. When you understand your mission, either in business or in life, then every decision becomes clear.
It requires some serious reflection to truly understand your values. You will also find your values much easier to know than to live. But that’s okay, values can not only help to keep you on track, they can help you get back on track when you fall off the rails.
When you know, really know, what your true values are, when you understand your mission and have a vision for your life and business then you will find yourself not only making faster decisions, you’ll find yourself making much better decisions too.