“Taking action without thinking things through is a prime source of problems.”
Alec Machenzie

 

As I read this quote earlier today it reminded me of the responsibility that leaders have to look beyond the moment into the future as we make decisions. One common pitfall leaders fall into is feeling pressure to make a decision too early, before they have enough information about the lasting impact their decision will have long term. There are times we need to be like a crock pot and let things cook slowly over a longer period of time in order to make the best decisions.

Recently I have observed a number of leaders, many of whom I admire and respect, make some very questionable decisions that are having a multitude of unintended consequences that are negatively impacting their organizations in very significant ways.

As leaders we will all make bad decisions that hurt our organizations, our responsibility is to do all we can to make sure we make as many good decisions as possible by looking at both the short and long-term impacts.

Some things to consider:

  1. Long-term impact
  2. Short-term impact
  3. Negative ramifications
  4. Positive impact
  5. ROI (Return on Investment): What will this decision cost you?
  6. Effect on your team
  7. Effect on customer
  8. Effect on your reputation and standing in your community
  9. Effect on you personally
  10. Effect on your family
  11. What does success look like?
  12. Hidden pitfalls?
  13. Risk vs. Reward?
  14. How does this decision fit into your overall mission, vision and goals as an organization?
  15. What perceptions can this be a catalyst to?
  16. Are there integrity issues?
  17. Are you and your organization capable of carrying out the decision?
  18. Do you have or can you obtain the needed resources to execute the decision?
  19. Will your team rally behind your cause? or will they fight you on this? Are you willing to fight? Is it worth a fight?
  20. If you have to fight to execute the decision are the casualties of the battle worth obtaining the desired result?
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