Many times leaders make decisions with only half of the needed information. These half decisions usually lead to mistakes because they don’t get both side of the story. I have seen leaders at all levels and different stages of their careers make this same mistake.
They usually occur when one of the following happens:
1. You are too busy to take the time to read all the information that is given
2. An emotional or strong employee places extra pressure on you to make a quick decision
3. You are making a quick decision to avoid the pressure for any problems that a delayed decision would bring
4. You trust an opinion that was misleading and you didn’t ask the right questions.
5. You failed to get the opinion of others when addressing the issue
6. You did not check it out first hand and mislead others when getting the advice.
Effective leaders take the time to get the facts even if it takes time to gather more information. I learned early as a high school principal that there were two sides on issues and most occasions – they were very different since people tend to protect their position. We must cut through the opinions and get the facts. Then – with ALL the information – make an informed decision.
We all have employees who may come and complain about others in the organization. However, forming an opinion of that other person without getting more information can be a real problem for workplace trust. Ronald Reagan said “trust but verify” – this is good wisdom for today’s leaders.
“Good decisions come from experience, and experience comes from bad decisions”
The right amount of information is powerful and necessary in making right decisions. Can you think of an example where information saved you from making a bad decision?
Running to Win…GTR