Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Just make a decision

I am pretty big on leadership, and I stress the importance of it whenever I can. This isn’t to say that I am the perfect leader, far from it. I make mistakes, and through these mistakes I hope to improve.

I once told a young cadet that was facing some difficult leadership issues at the unit that the mark of a good leader isn’t in the mistakes you don’t make, but how you learn from the ones you do. It seemed really profound when I told this to the cadet at 3am one cold winter night, and in the light of day, it still seems pretty good.

At Macadamian, this concept of constant improvement is enshrined in our values; in fact it’s the last “C” in “TRACC”. It permeates everything that we do and every aspect of our company. Every new hire goes through training that discusses our values, and we discuss that as part of the employee review.

However, you can’t make mistakes if you never make a decision. A person who never makes a decision is pretty common affair, but they are not really a leader no matter what their business card says.

A leader must be confident, and make sound and timely decisions, you can of course rely on experts in your team for information, but in the end it’s YOUR decision to make.

In almost every case, it is better to make a decision when you have 70% of the information then to make the decision when you have 100%. You will never get 100% of the information, and if you make that decision at 70%, most of the time you will be right. Trying to wait until you get 100% of the information will lead to unnecessary delays, team stoppages and wasted effort.

So just make a decision.

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