How comfortable are you with making decisions? What about recognizing that a decision you made wasn’t a good one and pivoting to a solution that works?
Leaders and executives must cultivate a series of essential skills to be successful, purposeful leaders who achieve results. In working with hundreds of leaders over the years, I subscribe to four areas of leadership competencies that most affect a leader’s ability to achieve results. These four leadership competencies, based on the Leadership Circle 360 Leadership Assessment in the Achieving Dimension, are as follows:
- Strategic Focus – how well you translate strategic thinking into rigorous and thoroughly developed business strategies to ensure that the organization will thrive in the near and long-term.
- Purposeful & Visionary – the extent to which you clearly communicate and model commitment to personal purpose and vision.
- Achieves Results – the degree to which you are goal directed and have a track record of goal achievement and high performance.
- Decisiveness – your ability to make decisions on time, and the extent to which you are comfortable moving forward in uncertainty.
In today’s article we’ll explore decisiveness more thoroughly. This is a key skill in the toolbox of successful leaders and one that is frequently misunderstood. Many individuals believe that decisiveness, like leadership skills, is a personality trait—something you either have or don’t.
Can Decisiveness Be Taught?
“‘Leaders are born, not made.’ That expression could not be further from the truth. While it’s true that some people are more natural leaders, most people develop their leadership skills by learning, observing and growing.” This quote, from the article, “5 Leadership Myths That Could be Holding You Back,” via Keap, hits the nail on the head.
The same came be said about decisiveness. Decisiveness is most often a learned skill, one that comes from reading and applying knowledge in professional situations, working with a skilled leadership coach, or gaining on-the-job-training in this area.
“In any moment of decision, the best thing you can do is the right thing. The worst thing you can do is nothing.” Theodore Roosevelt
What Does Decisiveness Look Like for Purposeful Leaders?
How do you know if you’re decisive in your leadership? Here are six key traits to look for:
- Decisive leaders remain that way under pressure
- They move forward even with incomplete information when appropriate
- Decisive leaders focus in quickly on key issues and ignore non-key issues
- They make efficient use of data to arrive at decisions
- Decisive leaders are willing to trust their gut instinct
- They can make tough decisions when required, even if unsure of the outcome
The Role of Decisiveness in Leadership Success
Decisive leaders aren’t superhuman. Like every other leader, they struggle and strain at times to understand what the right choice is. Yet, unlike indecisive leaders, they are more concerned with forward momentum than making perfect decisions.
This knowledge that some decisions will fail while others succeed allows decisive leaders to continue going even when the going is murky and the way ahead unclear. Leadership techniques like decisiveness can be learned. Proactive professionals make the decision to strengthen this essential skill in their leadership role.
Do you struggle to be decisive in your decision-making? Strengthen this core leadership skill by getting in touch with Anthony now.