Make the Call

Time to decide.

As organization models have shifted over time the need to make decisions daily has increased. But a lot of us are blowing it.

An under appreciated role in manager-as-leader is decision-making. Moving things forward. Yet we often avoid decisions leaving them undone like an unmade bed.

Do It Now

Managing through group, then teams and now collaboratively is still fairly new to humans. Much of the leadership history of humankind has been dominated by authoritarians: kings, despots, dictators, etc. Working in concert is still a relatively new phenomenon and a bit murky.

Thus some prefer waiting for “others” to make decisions.

And in the modern era (post-industrial revolution) we've become inundated with data and quasi news of all sort. Not that there is much “new” as existent information is simply repackaged and re-sent daily but its still a lot to handle.

Given the workplace model and an overload of information some managers get stuck in their tracks.

But we can't afford to.

Make the Call

Compelling leaders make decisions and go for it.

Considering the best information available about goals, stakeholders, environment etc., they make choices and move on fully knowing there's no such thing as perfect and tomorrow may bring a different reality.

This isn't to advocate shooting from the hip, behaving randomly or irrationally. We're not talking “Ready, Fire, Aim” here. Leaders do their due diligence. But they don't allow group dynamics to make this review endless.

And yes sometimes leaders make mistakes. Yet not often – because some mistakes are too big and costly to be written off smugly as “learning” experiences. Have enough “learning experiences” at a high enough premium in most companies and you will be fired.

That's work.

That's the risk of being a leader.

Yet, you don't get to be that decision-maker unless you are willing to make the call. To choose an option and take that risk.

What Will You Know Tomorrow that You Don't Know Today?

Inaction is both the bane and hallmark of large organization structure. Whether your model is hierarchical, team-based or collaborative you are most likely managing your enterprise through some form of group and this structure is in many ways the most effective approach.

But not in decision-making. That's your call.

Don't allow group dynamics to result in revisiting, reconsidering, delaying, tabling, avoiding or siting on the decisions that are crucial to the business. Drive decisions regardless of the model.

Focus on the goal, clarify the options, and make the call.

Or someone else will.



4 thoughts on “Make the Call

  1. “Much of the leadership history of humankind has been dominated by authoritarians: kings, despots, dictators, etc.”

    As I said today, there are still plenty of people who go into management because they want the authority. Of course, these same people flounder and make their employees miserable.

    Maybe I should thank all the bad managers who inspired me as to what NOT to do.

    “And yes sometimes leaders make mistakes.”

    Yes, I make mistakes all the time. I will forever advocate that bad decision is often better than no decision. At least you can learn from a mistake and often we still make progress so we’re not starting from scratch. With the right information and people, assuming you bother to listen, you can avoid the really big career ending mistakes.

    Which is why I am completely on-board with collaborative environments. I just can’t know everything and there is no point in pretending that I do even though some of my peers would rather gouge their eyes out with a spoon then ever admit they don’t know something.

    “Focus on the goal, clarify the options, and make the call.”

    Perfect summary. Thanks for writing this.

    • Very gracious & intelligent thoughts Rob. Thank you.

      I’m sure many people do go into management confused about power, yet, the truth is groups are always more functional when people are enrolled and involved. In our rapid-paced world, its essential to make decisions real-time without the angst of wondering what we’ll find out tomorrow. Tomorrow will get here on its own. Deal with the present and make the call recognizing that very little in life can’t be undone if you’re smart about it.

      Truly helpful comments Rob: I appreciate you taking the time to write.

  2. Pingback: Friday Round-Up – Better late than never edition | Confessions of a Middle Manager

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