Darn it! Make a decision already ….
To me, being a leader means making decisions and, as making decisions carry risks, answering for the consequences of the decisions if any.
A leader who is afraid of making decisions is useless as a leader. This is because the only way not to make mistakes is to do nothing. And, if an organization does nothing, why are you being paid to lead the organization?
During a recent #CoffeeWithFriends session, the topic was succession planning. I shared that not every great Deputy will make a great Chief.
This is because there are many Deputies who excel at the roles as they never have to make any consequential decisions. They just play devil’s advocate and then leave it to the Chief to decide …. and bear the consequences of the decision.
Promote this Deputy to the Chief and the fear of making decisions does not go away. The new Chief will continue to fear making decisions and the result will be an organization that engages in endless rounds of discussions that do not lead to any decisions.
In a VUCA world, no one knows the answers and every leader will make wrong decisions. But we cannot let the fear of getting things wrong prevent us from doing what we think is right. Giving in to our fears will doom the organization we lead to failure.
There is a time for questions, and there is a time for action, and an 80% plan executed on time is better than a 100% plan executed late. This is why I always say that leadership is a calling that many aspire to, but not all can achieve.