The Qualities Of Leadership 4-Being Decisive

Poll number: 

Question-Week ending Sunday 09/28/03:

In your opinion, which group of leaders listed in this poll seems to be the BEST at BEING DECISIVE? Please read our Poll Commentary before taking this poll.

Pre-Poll Commentary:

Being Decisive separates the "men from the boys" in life. It takes lots of courage as well as lots of confidence and practice to make decisions that affect the well being, destinies and lives of others. However, someone's got to do it and Leaders in all walks of life are faced with making decisions on a daily basis. Many leaders must make decisions every hour of every day. On any given Saturday or Sunday during football season, College and NFL Head Coaches must make critical decisions by the minute or even the second. There's no time to second guess. Making the wrong decision in a big game can even cost a head coach their future job. Thus it takes great courage and confidence to be decisive.

Top leaders tend to be more decisive, when they don't need the approval or votes of a committee or group before making a decision. Leaders tend to be more nimble, courageous and confident when they are not part of a bureaucracy. A good example of indecisiveness can be displayed at the United Nations. Bodies of leaders who must follow endless protocols before any meaningful decision can be made.

In my opinion, the best way to become a decisive individual is to be prepared for decision making. Good decisions are made more often if you are a knowledgeable and meticulous individual who studies the facts, figures, stats and probabilities of success. Leaders surround themselves with competent individuals who gather the above information and summarize it in capsulated form for them. Just as the President of the United States must be briefed daily by his cabinet members on all pertinent knowledge and facts, the Head Coach needs to be briefed by his competent staff of assistant coaches.

If you want to develop the skill of BEING DECISIVE, you must be proactive in learning, studying and most of all PRACTICING this skill. Everyone wants to be led by a DECISIVE leader!

Let us know in this week's poll which group of leaders listed, seems to be the BEST at BEING DECISIVE? This poll will end on Sunday 09/28/03, when the results will be displayed.

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  • 43% of voters chose Head Coaches in Sports as the group of leaders who seem to be the best at BEING DECISVE
  • 25% of voters chose Business Presidents and CEO's as the group of leaders who seem to be the best at BEING DECISVE
  • 16% of voters chose City Mayors as the group of leaders who seem to be the best at BEING DECISVE
  • 09% of voters chose State Governors as the group of leaders who seem to be the best at BEING DECISVE
  • 07% of voters chose Military Generals as the group of leaders who seem to be the best at BEING DECISVE
  • 00% of voters chose School Principals as the group of leaders who seem to be the best at BEING DECISVE

Post-Poll Commentary:

More than two thirds of our respondents choose Head Coaches in Sports (43%) and Presidents and CEO's (25%) as the leaders who seem to be most decisive. No one chose High School Principals as their top choice. Does this imply that Head Coaches in High School are far more decisive than their boss?

As I pointed out in our pre-poll commentary, Head Coaches are forced to make decisions by the minute or second when engaged in competition. They have to develop time sensitive, decision making skills out of necessity. Because they are under pressure to decide so often during competition, their percentage of right vs. wrong decisions is likely to be much lower than other leaders. For instance, coaches may make 100 decisions during a competition and they are probably very successful if they are RIGHT 70% of the time. Whereas, a CEO who is RIGHT with 70% of his decisions can be a failure. Thus, we need to consider many factors when judging success with relation to BEING DECISIVE.

The fact still remains, that all of us should continue to hone our decision making skills. Don't fear making decisions. Make them often and learn from your experiences as you develop the confidence you need to BE DECISIVE!