As a leader, or even as a team member, we constantly have to make decisions. Great leaders understand the power of decision-making and learn to use this power wisely.
In simple terms, leaders should consider two methods of decision-making. Some decisions can be arbitrary decisions and others need to be calculated decisions. Knowing which type of decision making to use at a given time will help you be a better leader.
I know leaders who make very quick, instant decisions only to grow to regret them. (This leader being one.)
Here are 7 characteristics of each type decision-making process: (Behind each word is a definition of that word compliments of dictionary.com)
Arbitrary - based on random choice or personal whim, rather than any reason or system
- Few people affected
- Limited life to the decision
- Low cost or impact expected
- When the decision-maker is the implementer
- Requires less thought
- Has been made many times
- Only one person needed to make decision
Calculated – done with full awareness of the likely consequences; carefully planned or intended
- More people affected
- Long-term implications
- Higher cost and impact potential
- When other people are the implementers
- Requires more thought
- Has been made few times, if ever
- May require the wisdom and counsel of others
Next time you have to make a decision, consider which method you should use for the occasion.
Do you see the difference?
Have you been guilty of making a arbitrary decision when you should have made a calculated decision? Please share an example.