Last week South Africa went to the polls for the 6th time since the advent of democracy. It is always a special moment given our history. This last election did not disappoint as we were spoilt for choice. The national ballot had a record 48 parties contesting the election. In our everyday lives, we are not always spoilt for choice. Often times we have to make hard choices.
People in leadership positions have to make decisions all the time. Sometimes those decisions are not easy but they have to be made regardless. I sometimes hear people say I am caught between a rock and a hard place. My view is that decisions need to made whether they are popular or not.
I hold very strong views on indecisiveness. For me it is a way of surrendering your power to the unknown. Leaders need to claim their power at any given moment. Of course; they need to research; consult; balance the scores and weigh implications; ultimately a decision has to be made either way.
Some decisions are easier than others and you just have to weigh your options. For some serious decisions I like Brighton Keller’s 5 step process.
- Clarify the decision – behind every decision there is a problem or issues you are trying to address. Is this the right one? Are you not addressing temporary symptoms?
- Identify objectives – the clearer you are on the desired outcome the easier it will be to make a decision.
- Explore alternatives- Gather info and consider your options or the choices you have.
- Consider consequences and trade offs- making a decision always costs us something. Decide if you can leave with the consequences and know that sometimes something has to give.
- Choose the best option- Do your best to come to some kind of decision – even if you are not 100% sure if it is the right one.
Enjoy making those choices.