As I observe the political, business, sports and church landscape today, I often think that much of what goes south or sideways stems from confusion and lack of clarity about good decision-making practices. This has been going on for a long time, is happening everywhere I look and seems to be getting worse, not better.  A case in point would be the confusion and quick changing scenario with masks and vaccine mandates. Who decides what?

In no particular order, here are some things that need to be considered when decisions are being made which may be helpful in saving yourself from unnecessary headaches or heartaches: 

What is the process for making decisions in your family, team, group, church or organization?

Who has the ultimate decision-making authority?

Is it crystal clear who has the authority to make what kinds of decisions, and is it in writing?

Is how decisions are made explained to new people coming onboard?

As a leader, you need to be able and willing to disappoint some people.

As a leader you need to be willing to endure criticism, misunderstanding and hostility for a short (or, in some cases, a longer) period of time.

Can people you are responsible for submit to appropriate and well-made decisions? 

Are you afraid to make decisions you know may not be popular or accepted by some people?

President Harry S Truman: “If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen.” Or, don’t go into the kitchen in the first place!

If it falls to your lot to make a decision, do your homework and at the proper time, make the decision that’s best for everyone, not just for one person. 

The higher you are in an organization the more is likely riding on every decision you make. 

If you are the Leader on your team or in your organization who has been tasked with making a decision, are you willing and courageous enough to let someone go who cannot or will not submit to decisions that are thoughtfully and appropriately made?

When it’s time for decisions to be made, and before you pull the trigger,  it’s always a good idea to get input from HR and legal to make sure you’re not overlooking or forgetting something that may leave you open to litigation.