Why it’s important to have decisive leaders
Decisiveness is one of those skills that people don’t often talk about, but it’s extremely important to great leadership. Have you ever worked with a leader who couldn’t make up their mind, who was constantly asking others what they thought but never come to any conclusions themselves? if you have experienced this you know how devastating and frustrating an indecisive leader can be.
Whether you’re looking to hire someone for a leadership position or evaluate your own strengths, here are the key hallmarks of decisive leaders.
Claim your role as a competent, credible and trustworthy leader.
This is fundamental to establishing yourself as a decisive leader, which is what employees look for in a supervisor or manager. Demonstrating your expertise, as well as building employees’ confidence in your abilities and qualifications, will result in your decisions being better-received than a leader whose direct reports don’t respect their supervisor’s position. Establishing your competencies means that you demonstrate the functional expertise necessary to direct your department functions. Being credible and trustworthy means, you follow through on actions and follow up your interaction with employees as promised.
Identify and gather essential information.
An important part of being decisive is being able to identify the information you need to make a good decision. To clarify, when faced with a choice, analyze the situation to understand what you need to know. Then, use all available resources to collect the essential information. Being decisive isn’t just about making a choice on your own; draw on the expertise and experience of others around you. In short, effective information gathering is a requirement of good decisions on tight timelines.
Be quick to decide and slow to change your mind.
Decisiveness does not mean being stubborn, arrogant or hasty, it’s simply the ability to decide with speed and clarity. The most decisive leaders have a gift of making up their mind quickly and changing it very slowly. They trust their instincts, because they know those instincts are backed by a solid base of experience and knowledge, and they commit to riding the wave of their decisions.
Make choices based on your level of authority, experience and functional knowledge.
Show respect for your employees’ input, but refrain from using employees’ input to make decisions for you. You’ll be viewed as too pliable and easily influenced if you don’t assert your position and status as a primary decision-maker.
Like so much of leadership, the ability to decide and stick with it is one you can develop. And when you do, you will be well one your way to accomplishing great things with your leadership.