Prudent decision-making and effective leadership are synonymous. People become leaders if they can make the most appropriate decisions at the time of need. Effective decisions often determine the leadership strength as well as organizational output. At the individual level, decision-making skills are the leader’s proficiency in choosing between options. It portrays a leader’s ability to think analytically and recounts the prospect of reaching leadership visions. To enhance the skill, a leader must persistently evaluate each context many times before reaching any conclusion. He has to collect and analyze all available data, listen to experts’ opinions, develop suitable options and critically evaluate each choice in its advantages and disadvantages before making a final step. Participatory decisions are often effective as all stakeholders feel more motivated while implementing such judgments. In a participatory decision-making process, a leader may encourage debate among the team members. He should discuss each of the viewpoints with benefits and challenges. Once all discussion and debate points are over, the leader should make a firm decision and adopt the most suitable means to implement.
Good leaders always remain focused on helping the organization, society, and people through the most appropriate decisions as the context may need. Time is crucial in decision-making, and a good decision at the wrong time may be worthless. In an institutional environment, a quick and appropriate decision fosters trust and confidence among followers and helps to endure a pleasant working environment. Therefore, a leader needs to make essential decisions timely in conformity with the organizational vision, principles, and values. He needs to be unbiased, honest, and objective-oriented while making a choice for the organization.
Although humans are generally viewed as logical beings, we often remain ignorant about the role of emotions and their effect on the decision-making process. Michael Levine wrote that emotions drive 80% of our daily life choices, while objectivity only represents about 20% of decision-making. Decision-making with a hungry, angry, lonely, or tired mind, emotion wins 100% of the time and is likely to push in the wrong direction. Therefore, a leader needs to remain categorically conscious of the adverse effect of emotions; he must not listen to rumors but scrutinize a situation with an open and rational mind.
Upon a decision, a most appropriate condition is necessary to disseminate those directives. Early disclosure of some decisions may cause detrimental effects among people sometimes. A late release and execution of an excellent decision also may cause ineffectiveness in output. Leaders must always remain responsive and conscious as each decision can build or break the expected organizational outcome. Indeed, good leaders make decisions, accept responsibilities and take every appropriate step to implement their judgments.
As a leader, you should be confident and stand by your decisions but avoid becoming a tyrant. Be flexible and modify your decision if necessary. The term ‘flexibility should not be abused by frequent changes of choices which ultimately breed a lack of confidence among men. Your decision-making ability will vastly increase if you make a habit of the following chronology:
- Identify the problem as early as possible.
- Gather information from all involved and who have influence.
- Analyze data and develop options.
- Review each option with advantages and disadvantages.
- Find the best choice and make a decision.
A leader may sometimes undergo dilemmas while making certain judgments and may need to sit with his staff and advisors. Wise leaders encourage others to speak, moderate the discussion and make a final choice at the end. Intelligent leaders also sensitize their men beforehand to align people’s mindsets so that they can receive certain directives easily. People feel better motivated and spontaneously receive many challenging decisions if leaders can prepare their mens’ mental frame well in advance. In any case, if they sense any confusion or dilemma in the decision-making ability of a leader, it severely costs the confidence of people. Organizational leaders may often opt for superiors’ guidance to make vital decisions but must hold own leadership image in front of men. Remember, a leader makes a decision, creates guidelines, and provides directives, but a manager takes all steps to follow it.
 The Divided Mind, Michael Levine, Logic, and Emotion, https://www.psychologytoday. com/intl/blog/the-divided-mind, Accessed on June 6, 2021.