Why Leaders Should Make Quick Decisions

I can hear it already. Some are going to get mad at this and tell me why I’m wrong. That’s fine. I’m going to stick to my story. I’m going to tell you to hurry up and choose. Make a decision. Make a firm one. A strong yes or a strong no.

I really used to think that a flaw of mine was moving too quickly. I used to feel really bad about it and after a while I became hesitant to make decisions because I was told I wasn’t listening or I was not being careful. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’ve made my share of boneheaded, rash decisions. But, hear me out on this…rash and hasty are not the same thing. There isn’t a time frame that indicates you made a great decision, simply because you passed the time frame. As a matter of fact, there is never a guarantee on anything. Just because you made a fast decision doesn’t indicate that it was not considered carefully.

Most super-achievers will ultimately tell you that they followed their gut and they did it fast. They didn’t think for weeks. They made a decision, a strong one and then they sold out to it. Yes, there are thinkers and people who have been known as great philosophers. But thinking and making a decision are not the same thing. One considers concepts and processes while the other simply considers an action or inaction.

The trap that many leaders fall into is a faulty one called careful consideration…..at least that’s what they think it is. The truth is that the longer we sit and ponder most decisions, the more reasons we come up with as to why it won’t work. We give our limiting beliefs space to work and they ultimately convince us to play it safe.

So, how do you determine the difference between a rash decision and a quick decision? Here’s the simple answer. A rash decision is one made with limited or no input while a quick decision is one made quickly with solid input. Does that mean all rash decisions fail? No. Some are just more dangerous than others. A rash decision is deciding to run out into the street without looking. A quick decision is simply deciding that you will run immediately. You may look quickly to see what’s coming and ask a few quick questions, but you don’t stay on the side of the road deciding if you will run or not.

The point here is that getting in the practice of making decisions quickly can give you improved results in life and business.  The fact is that time and possibly opportunity continues to move whether you want them to or not.  The truth is that most of us have a sense of what we want to do very early on but are simply afraid to pull the trigger.  So, how do you make decisions quickly without crashing and burning every time?

Well:

1. If you are unable to decide immediately, give yourself a timeline (a short one, no more than 24 hours if possible).
2. State a decision from the beginning that you will go with if your timeline expires.
3. Commit to quickly getting as much info as possible (Ask questions, do your research).
4. Commit to the result more than the risk.
5. Envision a successful result but be prepared to pick yourself up and go again.

Leadership, and bold leadership, often requires the ability to rally the interest and loyalty of those affected by your decisions.  Many times, they would opt for an informed, transparent, quick decision instead of waiting for a lengthy, meant-to-be-well-reasoned decision.  There is definitely a time for reasoning and waiting.  But, communication, transparency and trust are most often built by visible action.

What do you think? Tell me…quickly.

4 Comments

  1. Judith Blair said:

    Bobby I concur wholeheartedly with the concept of making a decision and taking action quickly; particularly so in the realm of business and leadership. As the years have gone by, I have learned this from practical engagement in the process and, having an entrepreneurial spirit myself, have seen firsthand that it is swift decision-making that brings positive results.

    Thanks for this reminder. I thoroughly enjoyed this post!

    September 27, 2015
    Reply
    • Thanks for the comment, Judith. I definitely believe in this rather than sitting and attempting to make the PERFECT decision. The thing that many leaders forget is that while they are pondering, people are wondering :). Then some of the people begin wandering.

      September 27, 2015
      Reply
  2. Cheyenne Sutton said:

    Hello, Robert. I just now read your article on decision-making. For myself, I find that some scenarios require quick decisions, however, others require more time. My personality is a combination of choleric/melancholy, and my preference is to have all of the facts and necessary information, which I consider carefully, before making most decisions.

    January 21, 2017
    Reply
    • Robert Kennedy III said:

      Thanks for commenting Cheyenne. Yes, there are definitely some decisions which require more consideration. However, i tend to refer to general practice. The decisions which require more time tend to be in the minority. The reason many of use do not move forward is due to over-thinking, over-analyzing and rationalizing our fear as carefulness. General Colin Powell was noted for saying that we can often make strong decisions with as little as 40% of the information. Our intuition can tap in and add quite a bit more information. This comes with the practice of quick decision making.

      January 21, 2017
      Reply

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