It’s inevitable. Every once in a while, we will have to make a decision that we know isn’t going to make everyone happy. Sometimes, it just isn’t possible to leave every single team member, director or audience fully satisfied. As leaders, we know we will have to face decisions like this, so what can we do to prepare? What can we do to cope?
Most leaders who I admire are the kind of people who really want to please others. They want to make decisions that are perceived as “win-wins.” They want to sit on the same side of the table with everyone and find mutual success. I can completely relate, as I’m sure many of you can, but while this may be a noble strategy, it is nearly impossible to execute.
As leaders, we have to be able to make the tough choices. I simply can’t put the team or organization at risk because of one person’s dislike of a decision. Humans are humans; we should not expect everyone to agree on everything. Leaders must appreciate that we all come from different backgrounds and have different perspectives. Because of this, no two people will view a problem in exactly the same way. While this may sound frustrating, keep in mind that a diversity of perspectives strengthens any decision.
And while we cannot please everyone every time, we should be happy about is the process through which the decision was made – or if not happy, at least comfortable. This is why I subscribe to the decision-making strategy of having a group of trusted advisors. If those around you know that you are open to their input, they will better understand that their interests were considered and that decisions you make aren’t punitive in nature.
As leaders, our team members and followers should be confident that our decisions are always made from a spirit of high performance, high expectations and with what’s best for the organization and its mission in mind. This means we sometimes have to make decisions that conflict our own personal wishes. As long as we seek input from trusted sources and make the decision we think is best for the team overall, we should be able to better cope with tough decisions and rest easy at night.
Question: How are you making decisions? Are you coping well with the tough ones?