Decision Making

“Choices are the hinges of destiny.” – Pythagoras

Decision Making Overview

Decision making is the process of selecting from several choices and taking action based on that selection. Leaders must not only make decisions, they must make the right decisions at the right time with integrity. Decisions are based on information. This may include data, historical knowledge, and the input from stakeholders. Leaders must assess the impact of their decisions and be able to consider any potential unintended consequences.

Why Decision Making is Important to a Leader

Stakeholders, such as team members, senior leaders, and customers, depend on leaders to make decisions. Decisions should be made in a timely manner, but with due diligence in gathering the necessary information that would impact the decision. Sometimes leaders hesitate or delay making a difficult decision. If this happens, the leader may be labeled as a leader who cannot make a decision and this impacts their team and potentially the leader’s reputation.

Benefits fDecision Making Processor the Leader

Leaders must make the best decision based on the information they have at the time. In doing so, the organization or team can move forward. We encourage leaders to know what decisions need to be made, gather the information needed to make the decision, and announce the decision to the appropriate stakeholders. Having a decision making process helps the leader stay on track in gathering information and considering the potential impact.

Top 3 Coaches Recommendations for Decision Making
  1. When faced with your next decision, build a matrix that identifies the information you need to make the decision. Include a column identifying where you can get the information or who has the information you need. After completing the matrix, use it as a guide to compile the information you need.
  2. What behaviors should you change to become more resolute and confident in your decision making? After making a decision, think of these behaviors and use them to be more resolute in your decision making.
  3. Be liberal in determining who the stakeholders are in a decision. Use this list of stakeholders to determine whom you should collaborate with in making a decision.
Measure and Improve Your Decision Making Skills

Be determined to improve your decision making skills and behaviors. Take the short decision making self-assessment on this page to identify where to improve your decision making skills and behaviors. Then, get more coaches’ recommendations in Chapter 14 of The Leadership Compass: Mapping Your Leadership Direction to help you fine-tune your decision making skills and behaviors.

Related Competencies:


Decision Making

Measure your decision making skills and behaviors!

Select your level of agreement with each statement in the self-assessment.
When answering the questions, consider how others might evaluate your decision making skills.


Recommended Decision Making Books:

Time to renew

Renew Newsletter


Subscribe for monthly leadership tips:

     - Ways to advance your leadership capability
     - Find solutions to common leadership problems
     - Hear about new leadership resources

You have successfully subscribed. Thank you!