After all these years in ministry (56) I’ve come to the conclusion that making good decisions is at the top of the list of skill-sets a leader needs to develop. I further believe that most of the truly important and most impactful decisions fall into one of these three categories.

  1. Directional ~ where is the organization headed?
  2. Financial ~ how will the organization allocate its resources?
  3. Personnel ~ who does the organizational need to onboard in order to achieve its goals and reach its vision?

A while back,  I woke up in the middle of the night with thoughts buzzing in my beanie about decision-making. Here are those thoughts. You may not agree with all of these, but hopefully they will generate some thought and creative discussion:

Leaders make decisions, that’s what leaders do

Some leaders enjoy the decision-making process and some hate it

Some leaders procrastinate making difficult decisions and never seem to have all the information they would like to have

Some leaders go with their gut, while other leaders want all the facts before deciding

Some leaders fear people and can’t decide because they don’t want to disappoint anyone or make enemies with a decision

The greater the responsibility, the more is riding on each and every decision

Some leaders decide by themselves without consulting anyone, trusting in their own abilities and experience

Other leaders always seek counsel and input before deciding anything

Some leaders are paralyzed by making decisions

Other leaders are energized by making decisions

Some leaders act unilaterally while others like to lead by consensus

Some leaders decide too quickly

Other leaders decide too slowly

Some leaders hate the tension that goes with difficult decisions

Other leaders love the thrill of risky and big decisions

Some leaders fear failure over a big decision

Other leaders focus on the potential windfall of a risky decision

Some leaders learn from bad decisions and know what to do differently next time

Other leaders seem to make the same dumb decisions over and over again and apparently learn nothing from the experience

There is trouble in any group or organization when it’s not clear how decisions are made and who has the ultimate decision-making authority

Some decisions are ethical and some are willfully dishonest, ignoring the law and hoping lawyers will save the day and the organization

If you are honest in making decisions, you don’t have to have an excellent memory

When making a difficult decision wise leaders do most of the listening while foolish leaders do most of the talking

One of the most valuable qualities of a good leader is the learned ability to make good and timely decisions that benefit the most number of people rather than just a few people

Some leaders first of all ask whether a decision is the right thing to do and secondly if it’s possible or profitable

Good leaders always take responsibility for what went wrong while poor leaders always find someone else to blame for what went wrong

Excellent leaders share the credit for good decisions and take the blame for bad ones, while other leaders take the credit for good ones and share the blame for bad ones

The more secure you are as a leader the easier it will be to be a good decision-maker

If your goal in life is to have everyone like you, don’t become a decision-making leader; sell ice cream

Leaders learn how to make good decisions it’s not an ability you are born with

Some leaders are more timid about decision-making whereas others are more bold

A leader is a person who makes decisions, some of which are right

Show me a leader who never made a mistake and I’ll show you a leader who never made anything

As a leader, the biggest risk of all is not taking a risk

No matter what the decision is, how long you took to make it or how thorough your homework was before making it, some people will like it and some people will not like it. Do what’s right, not what’s popular

It’s better to make decisions that are morally correct rather than politically correct. I’d rather be morally correct and politically incorrect than morally incorrect and politically correct