Why You Need To Make The Tough Decisions


My travels last week included flights on Delta airlines during their struggle with cancelled flights due to a major weather system affecting the east coast. On Wednesday I had to book a last minute ticket on American Airlines to get to Dallas for a meeting, and as I sat at the airport all afternoon Thursday I could see that my return trip on Delta wasn’t looking good. I gave some quick thoughts to other options, but chose to wait it out and hope for the best.

At 6 PM I received notification that my flight home had been cancelled and that my options were either a United flight late Friday or wait and take a Delta flight on Saturday. Not liking either of those possibilities, I ran to the gate of an American flight headed to Charlotte and purchased another last minute ticket. And I was home by midnight on Thursday!

The experience reminded me of three dangers leaders can face if they won’t make the tough decisions. They include:

You limit your options for the future.
Because of my inaction, I only had one choice to get home on Thursday. If I had more deeply explored other options sooner, I could have avoided the hassle of the frantic run to the other flight, and the cost of the last minute flight. How might you be limiting future choices by not taking action now?

You can’t focus on what’s most important.
Thursday afternoon I was frequently checking flight schedules and calling the airline to get updates. I got very little real work done. If I had made a decision earlier, I could have shifted my focus to more strategic thinking, like preparing for upcoming presentations. How is your indecision on a tough issue hindering your ability to stay focused on your other important work?

You prevent your team from being able to get the right work done.
The option of getting home late Friday meant that I would miss a meeting where I had a significant leadership role and if it was Saturday, my family would have to change their plans. How are you holding your team back by failing to make a decision on a difficult issue?

One of my favorite quotes is “You make a decision-and THEN you make it right.” However, I think in this situation, I would default to another quote on my list which is, “Indecision is a decision.” And too often, it’s NOT the right one.

For more on this topic:
How To Reduce Decision Fatigue In Your Day
Juggling Your Mental Elephants

And if you know someone struggling with a tough decision, why not share this blog with them by clicking one of the social media buttons below?

Jones LoflinComment