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When It’s Time to Decide

Every decision that needs to be made will be made. No exceptions!

If you’re responsible to make a decision and you fail to make it somebody or something will make it for you. If you think “waiting” to make a decision is a good idea you must realize that “waiting” is the same as making a decision to not make a decision. That is almost always the wrong decision to make. 

You can fix a poor decision once it’s made because you maintain some control over the decision. Failure to decide causes you to lose much of the control you may have had over a poor decision.

The only way I know of to learn to make decisions is to make them. You’ll certainly make some bad ones along the way but even those will teach you how to make better ones next time.

You must learn to make decisions because if you’re a person in a leadership position and you do not have the ability to make decisions then you will not lead, you will be led. You will be led by the unkindest leader of all, time and circumstance.

Time and circumstance will make the decision for you. That’s why you must understand that not making a decision is a decision. Deadlines will go whooshing past while you stand there pondering your next decision. The decision will, for all practical purposes have been made. Time will have made it for you. 

Once that happens your circumstances will be decided for you instead of by you. You will either drive the decision-making process or you will be driven by it. 

The time to decide is the moment, the very moment, when you have all the facts and information necessary to make an informed decision. At that point any delay is simply procrastination and procrastination is like poison to effective decision-making.

Occasionally time will force you to make a decision without all the facts you would like to have. In those cases you’ll need to rely on your past experience, the advice of other knowledgeable people, history and often, your instincts. Just remember, use all the information and facts you DO have even if you don’t have all the information you wish you had. 

Successful people decide, to lead effectively you must make the decision to decide in every instance where decision is required. It might not be easy but it is leadership!