The Number 1 Leadership Mistake

Photo by Brooke Lark on Unsplash

Leadership, by its definition, requires good decision-making. Making proper decisions can be a stressful and daunting task until you learn the secrets about how to make decisions easily and correctly. In this article, we’ll cover some of the misconceptions about leadership and decision-making.

All of us make decisions daily. If you choose not to make a decision, you are deciding something. The decisions we make daily affect every aspect of our lives. Deciding to lead a successful, happy, fulfilled life involves making the same decisions that other successful, happy, and fulfilled people make. We can apply this same technique to make effective decisions as a leader. The process we can follow is to model how effective leaders make decisions.

How does an effective leader make a decision?

First of all, many people who are new to positions of leadership make a fundamental mistake, which immediately limits their effectiveness and scope. This mistake is so prevalent that it is one of the top reasons a manager, executive, or entrepreneur can’t succeed in moving to bigger projects with greater rewards and responsibility.

This one mistake is the belief that you, as the leader, need to come up with all of the answers. The number one secret to making effective decisions as a leader is to let go of the belief that you need to know everything and have all of the answers. Many leaders fall into this trap and inadvertently stagnate their own career, growth, and income.

The role of a leader is to point to a place a goal or an outcome and say, “This is where we are going.” The next action an effective leader does is to ask those he is leading or a group of advisers “What are our options for achieving this outcome.” The proper way to make a decision as a leader is to have those who you are leading present you with various options on how to achieve the group goal and then decide the course you will take. Think, for instance, of the President of the US, he has a cabinet of advisers who present him with ideas, and then he decides on which course to take based on his judgment of the course.

By following this decision-making process, a leader can impartially evaluate various options because he or she is not biased by wanting to have the “right” idea. Making decisions as a leader is not about being the smartest or the best; it’s about deciding on a destination and evaluating and re-evaluating the course to that destination.

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