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On Leadership and Decisions

It isn’t always easy to lead. Leaders are called to do the tough job of making decisions.

  • Leaders are required to make tough decisions. Most of the time you won’t have all of the information you need, and the information you do have won’t be perfect. You will be required to use your best judgment. Right or wrong, you will have to make the call.
  • Leaders are required to make unpopular decisions. You will have to make decisions that other people oppose and with which they disagree. But your role as leader requires you to decide what is right, including the decisions where you can’t get a consensus agreement.
  • Leaders decide on their own. You will take counsel from the people you trust, the people closest to the problem, and outside sources. Then you will make the decision because that is a leader’s charge.
  • Leaders make mistakes. You live in a culture that loves to bring leaders down. Your mistakes will be broadcast louder and longer than your successes. You will be reminded that you are human and fallible. That will make you not unlike every other leader in history, not less than any other leader.
  • Leaders make decisions based on values. There are some decisions that you will make that will be based on your values. When money is on the line, many people will expect you to decide to forego your values in the name of profit. They will question your judgment and your loyalty when you choose values over money. Your values will give strength against their criticism.
  • Leaders are required to care for their people. You will make decisions to take care of your people. You will make decisions to help them when they need help, to give them time when they need more time, and to treat them as ends instead of means. You will be measured by how you treat the people you leave and how you have helped them improve.


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