How Effective Leaders Make Blazing-Fast Decisions
Knowing how to make good decisions could be the key to living your best life. And being able to make those decisions in a timely manner and feeling confident about your decision-making skills could save you a lot of time and hassle. Simply put, how do effective leaders make blazing-fast decisions?
Your leadership is defined by your ability to make decisions fast.
Our careers, relationships, health — anything and everything about our present selves — boils down to the decisions we’ve made in the past, yet some of us struggle with effective decision-making skills. When it comes to making decisions, the perfect solution seldom exists. But that doesn’t stop a lot of people from an endless and unrealistic pursuit of the perfect decision.
Nowadays reality forces us to be mobile, think and act quickly in business and day-to-day private life.
Just one slow motion or a prolonged decision and you’ll lose what you have achieved or give the initiative to others. It’s like in ping-pong: you have to think quick and react immediately. There is often not enough time to think about what your next best move is.
Do you want to start making successful choices that will continually move you in the direction of your dreams?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, it may be time to assess your decision-making process. Understanding how the process works is essential to bypassing major obstacles along your path to success.
It’s important to learn how to make blazing-fast yet logical decisions to become unstoppable. Let’s find out!
Effective leaders are known for being quick on their feet — for coming up with the correct solutions to the most pressing problems exactly when they’re needed. But how, exactly, do they do it? Here are 5 ways effective leaders make blazing-fast decisions without being stuck by procrastination or perfectionism!
Rule #1: Trust Your Gut
When you find yourself wavering between multiple options, your intuition is one of your most powerful decision-making tools. To hone in on your gut feeling, stop for a moment and don’t think about the pros and cons; simply sit in a quiet place and notice what feelings come to the surface.
Sometimes you just have to trust your intuition.
It’s an automatic, effortless feeling that often motivates you to take action on a decision. Intuition involves trusting the sum total of your subconscious experiences. It draws on everything you’ve experienced for all the years you’ve been alive, which means it’s constantly growing and evolving, just like you are.
Intuition is the ability to acquire knowledge without proof, evidence, or conscious reasoning.
We live in a world driven by data. We make the most significant decisions of our life based on datasets, statistics and algorithms. But when relying only on logical data in decision making, you can be unintentionally blinkering yourself. Sometimes, you are so data-driven that you can’t see the forest for the trees, and fail to exercise wisdom and insight where it’s really needed.
Gut instinct can be a valuable guide to making better decisions at work, if used in conjunction with facts and data.
Learning how to trust your gut, otherwise known as your intuition, can keep you safe. Your gut can guide you and help you build your confidence and resilience. This way, you learn how to truly trust yourself. Like any talent or skill, practicing trusting your gut is the best way to get really good at it. When people talk about having great intuition or being good decision-makers, it’s because they’ve worked at honing those skills, made mistakes, learned from them, and tried again.
Being experienced in your field allows you to rely on your gut feelings more.
If you have years of experience under your belt or you’ve performed extensive research to deal with a problem, the solution will automatically materialize before you. You don’t have to question how you came to a particular conclusion; you just know. You have enough facts, and you know what is right, so don’t overthink it: trust your gut.
Rule #2: Stop Black & White Thinking
The choices we make in our life — whether personal or professional — are never actually binary. They’re also never simple in their impact. Inevitably, when we hit these proverbial crossroads, when we choose one road over the other, there will be plenty of consequences. Our choices do impact our relationships, our home lives — everything impacts everything.
Throughout our lives, we often inspire undue stress and anxiety by viewing our existence with a dualistic mind.
We create a world of private duality, a world that is limited to fixed or black and white thinking. The truth is this all-or-nothing mentality actually narrows our vision and creates insecurity. This type of thinking colors all of our experiences and pressures us to live in the irrational realm of extremes. But the color that infrequently exists in the dualistic mind is the “gray.” The unflinching dualistic mind has no balance in its thought process. It is all one-sided and usually very inflexible.
The fact is life does not work that way. Life is actually full of subtle balance and varying degrees in every area of being human.
In fact, there are really very few situations that are not. Therefore, we must remember that all circumstance is neutral and nothing is set in stone because everything is negotiable. Insisting on the “right” choice can also lead to regret, guilt, and self-criticism. Encourage yourself to break out of your norm now and then by mixing up your routine or how you do things. It will help you be more receptive to new ways of seeing and doing more important matters when they unfold.
Confident leaders avoid thinking in black and white.
Binary thinking feels safe. It creates a world where things are black or white. In the binary world, there are start dates and finish dates. Things happen sequentially in a linear, logical, orderly fashion. Sadly this isn’t how the world currently works and it’s not how entrepreneurial success typically happens either. Success is always in a mess, it unfolds from a world of gray decisions that are ‘directionally correct‘.
When you look closely at successful people, few of their decisions were black and white and obviously safe.
Safe decisions don’t provide a payoff. Safe and clear decisions are actually dangerous for a person who’s seeking the rewards of entrepreneurship. If In a fast-changing world, anyone who thinks they have clear cut answers about the future is shutting down their ability to see what’s actually happening and respond accordingly. Likewise, anyone who hesitates while they look for a well-defined path will get left behind.
Rule #3: Avoid Decision Fatigue
When you’re faced with a tough choice, you might spend a lot of time thinking about the pros and cons or the potential risks and rewards. But overthinking your choices can actually be a problem. Weighing the pros and cons for too long may increase your stress level to the point that you struggle to make a decision.
Decision fatigue saps focus and reduces mental energy.
Hundreds of trivial daily decisions degrade our ability to focus. You should try to systematize small decisions so you don’t have to sweat the small stuff — task lists and mindful habit cultivation are key. Thus, when an important decision needs making, you are ready to give your full attention.
Setting a decision-making deadline can help you with focusing your thoughts and making good decisions quickly.
Otherwise, your mind is likely to wander to everything else going on in your life. This practice will also help you find that balance between quick decision making and impulsive decisions, because there is a difference. You want to have the background knowledge readily available in your mind to make the best decision possible. Making strategic decisions quickly is an entirely different wheelhouse from making impulsive decisions that have the potential to go either way.
Most people think that decision fatigue is caused by making lots of decisions, but that’s not always the case.
This drain of mental resources can also occur if you remain indecisive about just one decision. Dragging out a decision is the equivalent of mental multitasking. Your brain is constantly switching back and forth between choices, weighing its options, which leads to burnout and decreased focus.
Many of the choices you’re given are tiny decisions you don’t even realize you have to make, but they are still draining your brainpower.
For example, deciding what to wear, what to eat, and what to read are all decisions. To reduce the number of choices you must make, consider being more consistent. Mark Zuckerberg wears the same grey shirt every day to cut down on the number of decisions he needs to make. Having a system or routine allows you to make a lot of decisions one time, as you set up the system. Then each time you’re faced with that decision, you don’t have to make it again and again.
Rule #4: Embrace The Idea of Failure
Many times, your likelihood of failure is based upon your decisions. That’s a scary thought! Fear of failure means that something or someone will make that decision for you, which you will probably regret for the rest of your life. Overcome this fear and make decisions faster.
To become focused and make quick decisions, you must learn to embrace the possibility of failure.
Failure is a part of life, and in fact, it’s a beautiful part of life. Failure is how we learn, grow, and become better the next time around. Let’s be honest, sometimes you’re going to make the wrong decision, and that’s ok! When making a decision, don’t try to avoid failure because honestly, you can’t. The only way out is to push through the fear. Don’t allow it to hold you back. Remind yourself that there is no such thing as failure; there are only lessons.
If your decisions steer you wrong, fess up, correct the error, and move on.
Even making the wrong decision will help you learn something. And when you admit to yourself and others that you were wrong, you gain respect for being humble, honest, and real. Failure is just a life stage and there is always a rainbow after the rain. Our failures are how we learn and grow.
Without decisions, you can’t make changes. Without making decisions, you can’t expect personal and business progress.
You really need to make right decisions and take actions based on them. Only in such a way you can expect progress. The most important thing is to learn from your decisions and improve your next decision-making process. Simply, after implementation of decisions you’ve made, judge them. You need experience, and experience will come only if you make a bad decision and learn something from them.
Decisions can have unexpected consequences. That’s why most managers fall prey to indecision: they are afraid of failing.
Being fearful of risking their reputation makes them deaf. Most decisions are not perfect. But they drive action, unlike indecision. Take the plunge. You can always course correct. Action drives excitement. And it’s much better than watching others create stuff while yours continues to rehash possible outcomes. If you are not taking risks, you are not making a decision. You are just playing safe.
Rule #5: Focus on The Present
Looking for urgent solutions, we can become overwhelmed with the big picture. It pushes us to think about how our decisions will affect the future. We try to imagine each step along with its every outcome and this process is mentally draining.
Save your energy for tasks and try to make the best decision possible, focusing on the present.
Make your quick and balanced decisions based on what will make your next step the easiest. The decision can help solve a problem, but not every problem can be solved by making a decision. Instead, decision making often relies more on intuition than over-analysis. The solution often comes from your gut reaction, or what feels like the right decision.
We can often become overwhelmed with the big picture, trying to see how our decisions will affect the future.
The process of reaching a decision becomes mentally draining because you’re trying to see every step along every outcome. It’s better to save that energy for the task at hand, and simply try and make the best decision possible. In addition, it’s important to focus on what is in your direct control. Worrying about things outside of your control will result in delaying projects. The more you focus on what you can control, the quicker you will be at making big decisions.
Be an observer in life! Focus on being conscious and aware within each moment and soaking up all that you can. Observe the world around you.
Jeff Bezos said it best when he pointed out that there are two types of decisions: decisions you can take back and decisions you can’t. Keep this in mind while making decisions in order to move faster as an organization. If a decision can be taken back after it has been implemented, don’t waste time being indecisive. Decide, implement, evaluate and reiterate if necessary.
When we evaluate our decisions, we tend base our judgment on the quality of the outcome.
To improve our decision making, it’s important to evaluate our decisions and learn from them. However, we shouldn’t focus solely on the outcome. The best way to evaluate the quality of our decisions is to evaluate the process by which we make decisions. Wrap your arms around the uncertainty. Know that the way things turn out has a lot of luck involved so don’t be so hard on yourself when things go badly and don’t be so proud of yourself when they go well. Focus on process instead.
Ability to make blazing-fast decisions helps to take advantages of opportunities, choose the right things for yourself and ensure things go your way. And these opportunities wait for no one, so if you wait for the right time to make great decisions, you will lose precious time.
When you give in to indecision, you open up yourself — and your business — to all sorts of issues.
Instead of drowning in deliberation, you need to learn how to make good decisions quickly. Sometimes practicing being fast with small decisions can help you build your decision-making muscle so you can do the heavy-lifting on the big ones. And remember, you’ll never be a perfect decision-maker. But as long as you approach decision-making knowing your values and with a solid strategy, you’ve done the best you can.
It’s rarely the case that the best decision to make is to not make one at all.
Those who struggle to make decisions through problem-solving run the risk of letting their lives run them, rather than them running their own lives. This puts independence under constant threat, so it’s up to you to make sure that you are in control of your life and your decisions.
Life is full of choices, and it’s important to learn how to make those choices in the most efficient and logical way possible.
No one makes perfect decisions 100% of the time, and that’s OK. The important thing is action. Developing quick and effective decision-making skills can set you up for success both in your personal and professional life. Decide what is going to get you closer to your long-term goals NOW.
As with any other goal, getting better means setting realistic expectations. It means there may be some setbacks. And that’s OK. As ironic as it sounds — just deciding to work on being decisive is a solid first step.
Keep these tips in mind the next time you feel like you want to back away from a decision because you don’t want your life to be decided for you. After reading everything above, do you have a strong answer to how to make quick decisions and get more done without stress? Share your thoughts with our community in the comments below!
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