To Decide or Not to Decide?

To Decide or Not to Decide?

““The way to develop decisiveness is to start right where you are, with the very next question you face.” ~ Napoleon Hill

To Decide or Not to Decide?

There’s a little red blinking light that goes of in the corner of our eye when we are asked to decide. The longer we pause in coming up with a solution or making a decision, that blinking light flashes faster and faster. They’re waiting… They need to know… now!

Here’s a news flash: every decision does not have to be made on the spot. Just like saying “no,” there is a power in taking the time to decide when an answer is not immediately necessary. Many “of -the-cuff ” decisions can be terrible ideas that spawn from the perceived pressure exerted on you by the person seeking an answer. Should you delay making a decision, set a timetable that your response will be given and stick to it.

What you have actually done by delaying a decision is practiced time management. You have delineated how critical the problem is by setting your own timetable. You have the luxury of contemplating, researching, or asking advice in setting your decision timetable. All of this, of course, is based on your accurately triaging the problem at hand. Deciding if you should purchase printer toner from another supplier is vastly different from being faced with a Hindenburg-sized disaster.

If you are delaying because you have trouble making decisions, that’s another issue. In those instances, delaying can be a crutch. If you have a pattern of latent decisiveness, it must be addressed. You cannot always rely on the luxury of time. However, taking time to reflect and research options is not necessarily being indecisive. You are indecisive if you do not follow up with that decision or waffle on a decision you’ve already made. Henry Kissinger once said, “Competing pressures tempt one to believe that an issue deferred is a problem avoided; more often, it is a crisis invited.” Poignant words for those who often delay their decisions.

Consider this …

1. Briefly describe your pattern of decision-making. Are you normally decisive? Indecisive?

2. Reflect on a decision you made too quickly—one that ended up being the wrong decision.

3. Now reflect on a decision you delayed—one that ended up being a crisis because of your indecisiveness.

4. Now reflect on an impending decision. Take the steps to ensure this one is the right one!

For more, check out The Top Performer’s Field Guide, The Innovator’s Field Guide, or visit www.JeffStandridge.com.

(Originally published in The Innovator’s Field Guide)

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