During a conference I spoke at last week, I met two types of leaders: those whose businesses were experiencing accelerated growth and the rest whose companies seemed to be stuck in neutral, going nowhere fast. The key difference in the leaders of these firms is decision making. Without exception, the leaders whose firms are growing fastest have leaders who think more nimbly and act more swiftly.
When making decisions, people strive to get them right. Never have I met a competent leader who purposely attempted to make the wrong choice. We each do our best when making up our minds.
Thinking and deciding are straight forward unless we complicate them with over-analysis or under-utilization of our cognitive abilities. Radical Accountability for decisions provides us with a four-step approach for eliminating these human tendencies:
Stop…any task or activity that has nothing to do with the decision at hand. Distracted decision making is just as dangerous as distracted driving.
Breathe…and feed the brain with oxygen. Just a few breaths enriches the intellect, slows down any nervous energy, reduces emotional reactions, and increases presence and use of all of your faculties.
Think…about the desired outcome. When dealing with an area outside your expertise, think about whose input on that outcome would help, and ask for their experience and wisdom. Using others’ insights and your own intellect, make a choice that is the most efficient and effective way to create the desired outcome.
Act…immediately once a decision has been made.
Even if you later learn that a different decision is a better one, you can never fault yourself when you make decisions with Radical Accountability. You always have the option and ability to take any decision and adjust it to make it right.
This Week’s Radical Accountability Activating Action: Become a more nimble leader by using Stop, Breathe, Think, and Act as your method for all decisions from now on.