We live in a world today where no one wants to make a decision. Yet, decisions are what make the world go around.
What’s up with that?
There are a few reasons, but the biggest one (by far) is fear. Plain and simple. Fear of making a mistake. Fear of being wrong. Fear of trusting our instincts and experience. Fear of looking bad in front of our boss, our peers, etc.
This fear often manifests itself in “decision by committee”. Hey, let’s parade this idea, this candidate, or this business decision in front of as many people as we can. Let’s gather the feedback, THEN we can decide. One of the comical things about that is the more people you involve in a decision, the more chances there are for dissent. Dissent can result in several things. At best, it results in constructive conflict that drives a good decision. Sometimes it causes paralysis that results in delay – kicking the can down the road. At worst, it intimidates the decision maker into retreat…or into making a BAD decision…for poor reasons. But hey, it covers their backside…
#1: “John got fired.”
#2: “Wow, he just didn’t work out.”
#1: “Well, I had him interview with eight people before I hired him….”
#2: “Yeah I know.”
When too many people are involved in a decision, it signals to me that someone is seeking shelter. Someone is uncomfortable with being the decision maker. Someone is afraid of being accountable. It can be a strange form of anticipating and positioning for failure.
Many people want to be decision makers. Until there are actual decisions to be made. Then it becomes quite interesting. How does one become a good decision maker? By actually making decisions. What happens when you make decisions? Sometimes you’re wrong. You then learn from those mistakes and make better decisions going forward.
Early in my career, a wise old VP told me, “A great decision maker is someone who makes the correct decision 80% of the time with way less than 80% of the information.” That takes courage.
Stop being indecisive. It’s holding you back.