20
May
09

No-compromise decisions are the toughest for a reason

tough-decisionsLeaders make decisions all day long. It’s simply a requirement of the job. Much of that decision-making occurs naturally and continuously without skipping a beat. But as all leaders know, there are those decisions where all of the options are less then desirable – or downright gut wrenching. Decisions in this category are best described as solving a dilemma rather than a problem. Problems have solutions. Dilemmas present a murky roadmap where all paths lead to uncertain outcomes – or the carrying out of necessary but unpopular plans.

The worst thing a leader can do is label a dilemma as a problem and pull the trigger before understanding all of the potential hazards. Even worse is to avoid pushing for an innovative solution and allowing the dilemma to drone on. This is the turbulent territory where leaders earn their no-compromise stripes. No matter how painful, stressful or unpopular, a decision must be made. As a leader, it’s your job. No compromise.
Here are some no-compromise strategies to navigate your way through those tough decisions:
* Understand what delaying a decision does to you: The longer you delay a tough decision, the heavier the weight you carry. You must respect your own wellbeing by taking action rather then delaying it. That means innovating the best solution must become a top priority for you and your team. Procrastinating fuels stress.
* Your demeanor is always communicating: When stress levels soar, your demeanor becomes vividly apparent to those around you. You become unapproachable, irritable and short. Your business now has both a dilemma and a stressed-out leader. Eventually your reluctance to make a decision will add more drag to a situation that could or has already gone critical. It’s time to engage and lead. Just as exercise reduces stress, so does making those tough decisions.
* You can’t please everyone: Tough decisions always have supporters and naysayers. Try as you might, tough decisions will rarely please everyone. And the more you try to please everyone, the more watered down and impotent your decision will be. Keep tough decisions tough.
* Communicate with extreme clarity: Tough decisions need to be hi-definition clear to everyone. Communicate your reasoning, potential outcomes and the possible hazards. Clarify your expectations and hold yourself and your team accountable to produce the right outcomes.
* Not as tough as you thought: By going no compromise with tough decision-making, you will likely discover that working through tough decisions isn’t so tough after all. It’s the procrastination and obsessing that makes them tough.
Pass this email on to your business colleagues, managers and friends.
Neil Ducoff, Strategies founder & CEO

Leaders make decisions all day long. It’s simply a requirement of the job. Much of that decision-making occurs naturally and continuously without skipping a beat. But as all leaders know, there are those decisions where all of the options are less then desirable – or downright gut wrenching. Decisions in this category are best described as solving a dilemma rather than a problem. Problems have solutions. Dilemmas present a murky roadmap where all paths lead to uncertain outcomes – or the carrying out of necessary but unpopular plans.

The worst thing a leader can do is label a dilemma as a problem and pull the trigger before understanding all of the potential hazards. Even worse is to avoid pushing for an innovative solution and allowing the dilemma to drone on. This is the turbulent territory where leaders earn their no-compromise stripes. No matter how painful, stressful or unpopular, a decision must be made. As a leader, it’s your job. No compromise.

Here are some no-compromise strategies to navigate your way through those tough decisions:

  • Understand what delaying a decision does to you: The longer you delay a tough decision, the heavier the weight you carry. You must respect your own wellbeing by taking action rather then delaying it. That means innovating the best solution must become a top priority for you and your team. Procrastinating fuels stress.
  • Your demeanor is always communicating: When stress levels soar, your demeanor becomes vividly apparent to those around you. You become unapproachable, irritable and short. Your business now has both a dilemma and a stressed-out leader. Eventually your reluctance to make a decision will add more drag to a situation that could or has already gone critical. It’s time to engage and lead. Just as exercise reduces stress, so does making those tough decisions.
  • You can’t please everyone: Tough decisions always have supporters and naysayers. Try as you might, tough decisions will rarely please everyone. And the more you try to please everyone, the more watered down and impotent your decision will be. Keep tough decisions tough.
  • Communicate with extreme clarity: Tough decisions need to be hi-definition clear to everyone. Communicate your reasoning, potential outcomes and the possible hazards. Clarify your expectations and hold yourself and your team accountable to produce the right outcomes.
  • Not as tough as you thought: By going no compromise with tough decision-making, you will likely discover that working through tough decisions isn’t so tough after all. It’s the procrastination and obsessing that makes them tough.

Pass this email on to your business colleagues, managers and friends.

Neil Ducoff, Strategies founder & CEO

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