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At some point, every manager will face a big career making or career breaking decision. Depending on whether or not they make the right choice, these decisions can be wildly successful, or they can have a detrimental impact on a manager's ability to meet the strategic objectives delegated to them. It's no surprise that managers often get bogged down by the decision-making process. As a manager, it's important to trust your gut and not miss the window of opportunity to make decisions that are impactful and effective.

Trust Your Gut

There have been times in my career when I was faced with a decision and received advice that I wasn't comfortable with. I knew in the pit of my stomach that the advice I was getting was wrong, but due to the evidence or information I was receiving from my team or peers, I convinced myself to overrule that feeling and just go ahead with the decision that was being pitched to me. In every one of those cases, not trusting my gut was the wrong decision.

It's important to remember that you were appointed to your position because of your decision-making abilities. I'm not a psychologist, but I would say that there is something innate in any good manager's problem-solving capabilities that enables them to use their judgment in order to make decisions in the absence of complete information, or in defiance of what others might be saying is the best advice.

Too Much Information

It's only natural to want to gather as much information as possible before making a decision. In fact, gathering information and input from your team and fellow employees is an essential part of executive decision-making. However, it is possible to paralyze the decision making process by seeking too much information and data. The longer you delay making a decision, the greater the risk of it becoming too late for you to be effective in that particular process. If you become paralyzed in the decision-making process, events can overtake you and the decision you finally make can become non-impactful.

There is No One Right Answer

It's just not realistic to expect to have every piece of information one could possibly want to make a decision. When it comes to the executive decision-making process, it's important to remember number one on our list of The Top Twelve Fallacies That Get In The Way of Organizational Performance: there is no one right answer.

When making executive decisions, it's important to instead gather the right amount of information. Before making a decision, consider the following:

  • How much information you need,
  • Whether the advice you're hearing is correct or not,
  • And when to pull the trigger.

My advice to managers is to remember that you were hired for your judgment. In the eyes of your organization, you are the one who is best qualified to make the decisions that are assigned to you. You need to have enough information to be confident in your decision, but not so much information that you get paralyzed.


Dwight Mihalicz

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