On the courage of making decisions

On the Courage of Making Decisions

Every day, every hour, in fact every second we make decisions. Consciously or unconsciously. Without them we would not be able to survive.

Sometimes they are easy. Sometimes they are difficult. Some have big effects, some have none. And sometimes … we decide not to make a decision at all. The reasons for this can differ. The cause is always the same: Lack of courage.

Courage to decide for one and through that against the other. Courage to make mistakes. Courage to speak to power. And every now and again this lack of courage even seems to become a game. “Let me sit on that for a while” we sometimes hear with astonishment from our leaders.

What on earth can “sitting on a decision” achieve? In answer we hear them say: “Some things just work themselves out”. So they may. The question is however, whether they “work themselves out” in the interest of the employees and the customers or whether things rather seem to be left to chance.

Successful leaders consciously take decisions and think about potential consequences prior to doing so. They take responsibility for their decisions and do not leave them to chance. They do not decide in a committee or hide behind emails. They decide with their heads and their hearts based on previously presented facts. Because they are happy to carry the consequences for what they feel is the right decision.

And of course some of these “right” decisions will be wrong. Good leaders, however, have the ability to learn from their mistakes, get up and try again.

This courage makes them to what they are. And let’s be honest: Nobody always takes the right decision. The important thing is, that our decisions are on balance more right than wrong. But they have to be taken and not left up to chance.