The cost of perfect decisions
“At Session 1 of the Leadership Development Lab, our instructor explained the ‘comfort zone’ in ways I had never heard before. He pointed out that as our comfort zone expands we become more decisive, and more willing to take the initiative.
“I have a history of struggling with making decisions – even small decisions. Sometimes, I would put off tasks because I was not able to make a decision about how to start, or proceed at some part of the task. I would mull over a decision for longer than necessary because I was concerned that I wasn’t making the very best choice. Looking back now, I can see how I would bring small issues to my supervisors just to have them reaffirm what I already knew. I was wasting my valuable time and energy. I am pretty certain that my reputation as a leader suffered because of my indecisiveness.
“The idea that decisiveness could be developed by simply starting to make decisions, left a strong impression on me. The difference between a good decision and the very best decision were insignificant in many cases but, the time wasted was not. I have learned to practice quick decision making – make a decision and move on.
“A couple of weeks ago, I was out of the office for several days due to illness. When I came back I was facing a mountain of emails many of which required decisions and actions on my part. In the past, a pile of emails like this would have taken most of the morning to resolve, I got it all done in less than an hour. When I caught myself deliberating over the best course of action, I considered what the worst possible outcome could be if I get it wrong, and made my decision in that context. In less than 60 minutes, I was able to free up my time and energy for more important work.
“The lesson I have learned from my experiences of forcing myself tobe a more decisive person is that decisiveness and all of its attending benefits are gained through practice.
“I challenge you to practice making decisions on the spot. Stop postponing your decision until you are 100% sure it’s the right decision.
“The benefit you will gain is you will be a more effective leader. You will get more done, you will feel better, and you will earn the respect of those you live and work with.”
Winter 2019 Leadership Development Labs (LDL)
Wilsonville, OR and Vancouver, WA
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