Most everything I’ve read about leadership tells me that good leaders are decisive! They are not afraid to make the tough decisions and they definitely don’t try to keep everybody happy with the decisions they make. There are helpful and harmful ways to make these decisions. Dan Rockwell shares 7 ways to be decisive without being a jerk.

Originally posted by Dan Rockwell


Confidence and correctness are not connected.

No one wakes up in the morning with the intention of failing during the day.

Decisiveness thinks it’s right when it’s wrong.

7 ways to be decisive without being a jerk:

#1. Stick with your expertise.

You better know what you’re doing if you’re decisive. We often succumb to expertise creep. Remember that an expert in one area is ignorant in many areas.

#2. Respect the horses in the barn.

If the barn is full of plow horses, find a field to plow.

You can whip a plow horse all you want, but he’ll never win the Kentucky Derby.

Never let the horses you wish you had prevent you from honoring the horses you actually have.

#3. Force yourself to seek advice.

Decisive leaders feel they know when they don’t.

Seek advice from someone who seeks your best interest and is willing to hurt your feelings.

#4. Practice timely optimism.

Goals about dieting should be made when your belly is growling.

You need realism when choosing goals and optimism when implementing. An optimistic goal-setter is doomed to disappointment and frustration.

People who aren’t climbing the hill underestimate the difficulty of climbing the hill.

Do a premortem after choosing a goal.

#5. Focus on what, not how.

Don’t be decisive about everything. Decide on what to do. Let competent others decide how to do it.

If you’re decisive, learn to shut-up and step back.

#6. Take responsibility for disappointing results.

A decisive leader who blames others for failure earns disengagement from the team.

#7. Learn to develop people.

Decisive leaders often struggle to develop people.

You might slow down a bit and bring others into the decision-making process. It will be good for you and you may develop others.

What decision-making suggestion seems most relevant to you?

What suggestions do you have for decisive leaders?