I’ve learned the hard way that making tough decisions in a chaotic, demanding and rapidly growing office with a team that consists of super smart and strongly opinionated women takes practice. In the past, I had a tendency to avoid conflict; I’d put off making difficult decisions and even sugar-coat reality. I realized pretty quickly that those behaviors are of little use when holding a position of leadership.
What makes a tough decision tough? Decisions are the building blocks of business. Every day I consciously and unconsciously decide the direction in which I am going to bring my business. Sometimes these choices come easily, like deciding who’s going to curl in this year’s Chamber of Commerce Curling Bonspiel. And some days there’s choices that bring a fear of the consequences that keeps me going back in fourth in my mind for hours, and even days.
Being the founder of two growing companies comes with great responsibility so I remind myself that every difficult choice is an opportunity for me to affirm my personal values and what I stand for.
Here are some of the things I do when I am presented with a tough choice:
- I make the decision about me. They are my companies after all – built on things I believe are important.
- I remind myself that it’s the best decision for the organization. After I toss things back and forth, I take control and make the decision based on the personal values that have helped me to build my vision so far.
- I stand by my choice. Making a conscious decision to choose one thing also means making a decision not to choose another. Once I make a decision, I implement it which allows me to go confidently in the direction of that choice.
- I don’t ask ‘what if’. Dwelling on the outcomes can hinder the momentum. Once my choice is made, I run with it and learn from it, but I never question it.
- Be in the moment. I focus less on what implications will arise from a choice and more on what my organization will become once that choice is made.
Decision making involves determining which choices will offer the best possible outcome to you, your team and your organization. Have a positive mental attitude, have those difficult conversations, make those tough decisions, and keep moving forward. Pretty soon those issues will be an afterthought and you will be looking forward, ready to face the next challenge you are inevitably faced with.