To be successful, especially in a leadership role, there will be times when you will be faced with making tough or difficult decisions that will, in many instances, also be seen as unpopular.
Some often delay making tough critical decisions on a timely basis because they fear the outcome. So, to avoid this “perceived” result, we either make a series of small and less effective decisions or we take no action hoping the matter will take care of itself. When we do this we actually do more harm because we are prolonging a bad situation and, in many cases, making it worse. This approach can be a fatal error for a business leader in situations where success sometimes hangs in the balance based on their ability to make tough decisions using not-so-perfect information.
So when you have a tough decision to make, first be clear about the outcome you want to achieve and then second, take deliberate and focused action. Get tough decisions behind you so you can focus on moving forward. It sometimes takes bold action to achieve bold results. Nothing ever gets better by ignoring it.
Here are six proven steps you can follow when a problem can only be solved by making a tough, important and usually unpopular decision:
- Break the problem down into smaller pieces so you can get clear understanding of its cause and the impact it is having.
- Determine the desired outcome.
- Identify what if any obstacles are in the way to resolving the issue.
- Determine 1 to 3 possible actions (decisions) you can take.
- Based upon what you know, pick the best way forward.
- Decide – and do it; don’t look back.