“It’s not hard to make decisions when you know what your values are.”
— Roy Disney
Leaders get the “big bucks” because they are decisive… they can make quality decisions quickly! However, did you ever wonder why certain leaders are better decision-makers then others? Well, it all comes down to having an “internal compass,” so-to-speak. Decisive leaders understand their personal and organization’s values and know how to utilize them effectively and efficiently when tough decisions arise. You can learn to do the same with a little effort.
Here are four steps to help you become a powerful decision-maker in any leadership role:
1. Define your Values
Your personal values are what makes you what you are, and if you are not utilizing them daily in your leadership role, you are being a phony! A large reason certain leaders are much greater than others is the fact they know who they are, and more importantly, they know what they stand for; this begins with understanding personal values. Start by defining your values and writing them down. Ask yourself what makes you who you are? What do you believe in? How do you define right from wrong? What is most important to you?
Values are deep-rooted, so you shouldn’t have a difficult time coming up with a list. After completing your list ask yourself the “why questions” to get better clarification on each of your answers. Let your answers “sit” for a few days, then re-visit them to finalize your list. Type them up on a nice piece of paper so you can refer to them often. This is now your “personal compass;” your “true north!
2. Learn your Organizational Values
Chances are your organization has a set of values. If they are not prominently displayed on a wall, visit the website, or ask around. The problem with most organizational values is very few employees know and understand what they are. Many people may be able to recite the values, yet they can’t explain what role they play or their purpose. Truth be told, organizational values should be evident by the way the business is conducted and the decisions being made; however, that is not always the case.
Once you find the organization’s values, study them to the point you understand them enough to explain them to others. Start conversations about them. Ask if they are still relevant or if they need to be revised. Compare the organizational values to some of the decisions being made, and ask if they align with each other.
3. Find Consistencies
Once you have your personal and organizational values, compare the two sets to look for consistencies. However, here’s where it gets interesting, and what separates the good leaders from the great leaders. If you can easily identify similarities between the two sets of values, being decisive will come naturally to you in your leadership role. However, if there are only a few consistencies, you may find yourself fighting a tough battle; your personal values may be quite different from your organizational values.
If there are major differences, you will have some work to do. First, examine both sets of values carefully to determine why there is such a gap. Then determine which of your values align with the organizational values. Are there enough values to ensure you can be yourself, or are you in a situation where you need to compromise your values? Naturally, the greater number of similarities, the more comfortable you will be in your decision-making role. The key is to focus on the similarities between the two sets of values, as this is where your decision-making abilities will thrive!
4. Implement Decisiveness
Once you understand the connection between the two sets of values, you can make split decisions without thinking twice. Your “internal compass,” is now in alignment with what your personal and organizational values are, so being decisive will come naturally. Whenever difficult decisions arise, you can simply fall back on your combined set of values. If the decision goes against the values, you automatically know it is a bad decision and you can alter it before making it. Regardless of the outcome, you can always look back at the choice you made with confidence, providing you made it based on the combined set of values you clearly know and understand.
The bottom line is great leaders have tremendous decisiveness because they are confident their decisions align with both their personal and organizational values — their combined set of values; their “internal compass.” They can make quick, on-the-spot important quality decisions because they understand exactly where the organization stands and what direction it wants to move. The decisions come natural to them because their values and the organizational values act as one set, and whenever there are differences, they understand the organizational values as well as their own, and will decide accordingly.
“Run to Your Challenges… to Achieve Greatness & Stand Out Among Leaders!”
For more Leadership blogs, training, and coaching opportunities, visit RuntoyourChallenges.com
You can contact Paul directly at [email protected]
Originally published at medium.com