How Leaders Make Tough Decisions
Leading is hard work.
Not only do you have to make tough decisions day in and day out, but you also have to help your team understand why it is the best way to go and some will not be happy about it.
Here are 6 ways to help you lead and make tough decisions:
1. Establish Your Mission Statement and Your Core Values
To make sure that the tough decisions are the right decisions, you must first make sure you are crystal clear on what your mission and values are.
For example, our mission at DYB Coach is
to help 10,000 painting contractors to build a profitable business,
so that you can have financial freedom,
time for your family, and
make an impact in your community.
Our top 5 values are:
Integrity, Humility, Ownership, Education, & Encouragement.
With this baseline of who we are and what our mission is, we can stop as we approach each tough decision and ask if we are in alignment with our mission statement and our values. If the answer is yes, move forward. If the answer is no, move on to what is in alignment.
2. Stay Healthy
We must get proper sleep, food for fuel, exercise, and make the habit of taking 15 minute breaks between meetings and projects throughout the day to relax and let the dust settle. When we haven’t been following this protocol, blood sugar levels can be off (hangry anyone?) as well as our capacity to process problems as they come (aka: short fuse syndrome) which is anything but helpful to our team.
We only have so much capacity for decision making per day and if our health it’s great, then our decision capacity is greatly decreased and we are most likely to make bad decisions.
Make sleep, nutritious food, exercise, and breaks throughout the day a priority. We will then be operating from our peak decisions making state and from a sound emotional state. Our company culture will thank us by having great team morale and excellent company culture. Win-win! We must lead the way.
Which leads us to our next key…
3. Never Flip Out or Yell
I was asked in our members Facebook group, the DYB Community, “When is it ok to yell at somebody?”
The answer is never.
It’s never ok to yell at anybody. I cannot say that I have never yelled at my team, but I can tell you that it was never effective, but instead very damaging to the person, the team, and myself.
For some, as was for me, this was a tough thing not to do– especially when highly caffeinated and tens of thousands are on the line or just lost.
When these temptations present themselves to flip out or yell at somebody, it is our opportunity to level up our EQ (Emotional Intelligence).
Just like you can increase knowledge to level up our IQ, you can practice self-control to level up your EQ. Keep in mind that all skills are learnable and anybody who is strong in a particular skill worked hard to develop it over time, so you can, too.
4. Surround Yourself With Trusted Advisors
Leadership is tough work. If it wasn’t, everybody would lead.
Sometimes it can seem lonely since you can’t share your problems with very many people as most won’t understand or be able to relate.
Make sure that you do not share your problems or complain down the leadership line (with your team), but share them up – with other trusted leaders and with your advisors.
Your team looks to your day in and day out for inspiration and security; they need encouragement, not to know all the struggles that you are facing.
But you do need to share so share sideways and up: with other trusted leaders and advisors. Surround yourself with trusted advisors. Those who can relate, share alike, and can be trusted to keep it confidential. Share with someone who has been there and can relate, but has over come.
Whether it’s a business coach or mentor, make sure you have trusted advisors in your life. In order to grow your business and leadership skills, you need to share and get perspective and accountability.
We provide groups of trusted advisors that we call DYB Mastermind Groups that meet bi-weekly meetings. If you would like to talk about seeing if one is right for you, schedule a call with me here.
5. Make Decisions with the Information Available
I was sitting on my couch watching Jim Rohn’s Weekend Leadership Event 2004 on DVD, when Denis Waitley was speaking and out of nowhere he said,
“You don’t have all the information? You never will!”
That hit me hard. My DISC personality is a High C. Naturally I’m over-analytical. I can get “analysis paralysis. If you also find that you can over-analyze, then you, too, need to come to the realization that you’ll never have all the facts.
You must make the best decision with the information you currently have and move forward.
6. You Must Take Personal Responsibility for the Outcomes
Possibly one of the most important characteristics, along with integrity, is personal responsibility. While we don’t see much of this displayed for us on the news (which you shouldn’t waste too much of your time getting distracted and bogged down in) it is critical for you to succeed that you take complete and full responsibility for everything.
Even if it isn’t directly your fault, take complete responsibility.
That’s leadership, but here’s the great thing about taking complete ownership– now you have the power to change it.
See, as long as you blame circumstances or other people, you’re powerless.
Instead, take the position that you are where you are because of every decision you’ve made up until this point and the possibilities are endless.
Establish your mission and values
Never flip out or yell at anybody
Surround yourself with trusted advisors. Remember, share problems sideways and up, but never down
Make the best decision with the information you currently have
Take complete responsibility for the outcomes
Follow these leadership guidelines for making tough decisions and you will grow your leadership skills and company at the same time.
You’ve got this!