Ten-year CEO studies conducted by a team of psychologists, economists, statisticians, and data scientists don’t come along every day. This one is eloquently unpacked for us by Inc’s, Scott Mautz, author of, ‘Find The Fire: Ignite Your Inspiration and Make Work Exciting Again’ Anyway, when such studies are reported, we take notice, he did, and here’s what he discovered.
It turns out that being decisive is more important than you ever imagined for unlocking peak performance.
The team behind the aforementioned ground-breaking study made this important distinction, however, as detailed in the most recent Harvard Business Review:
We discovered high-performing CEO’s do not stand out for making great decisions all the time; rather, they stand out for being more decisive. They make decisions earlier, faster, and with greater conviction. They do so consistently, even amid ambiguity, with incomplete information, and in unfamiliar domains.
This makes sense, especially when you consider how indecision paralyzes an organization. It creates doubt, uncertainty, lack of focus, and even resentment.
Don’t be that guy/girl. Here’s how to be more decisive.
Emotions can get in the way of making a decision, causing us to gloss over facts right in front of us or creating a desperate search for information to support the decision we really want to make.
Countering indecision requires accepting inevitabilities much sooner while refusing to let emotions cloud the realities at hand.
By the way, there’s nothing wrong with letting your heart (or gut) be the tiebreaker in making your decision; it’s just critical that the head, heart, and gut all serve the process in a balanced, efficient fashion.
Fear of making an incorrect decision can paralyze us. At such times, it’s helpful to step back and ask, “What’s the worst thing that could happen in the long run if this decision turns out to be wrong?” Odds are, consequences aren’t that dire after all.
More often than not, you make decisions, decisions don’t make you.
And getting comfortable with the possibility of being wrong can actually help the right decisions happen faster.
No decision might mean budgets run over, competitors move first and end up eating your lunch (while the indecisive manager is still deciding whether to use a fork or a spoon), or that resources get further stretched to work multiple options and kept from working on some other priority (further sapping the organization’s energy).
Being aware on this front will make you think twice before deciding not to decide.
Self-doubt or worrying about what others expect you to decide can cripple a decision in progress.
Self-confidence helps bolster the internal fortitude to make the tough calls, as well as the external reception of the decision once made. Ever watch someone visibly riddled with self-doubt arrive at a decision? Most of the time these are the decisions that won’t stick.
Credit: Getty Images