Your Success Thought for the Week of May 31, 2006
Leaders make decisions all day long, some major and some minor. Some are bold moves, other are run-of-the-mill choices. The key is that they make them.
The two challenges I find with my clients decisions are a) they often don’t have enough information on which to base the decision and b) their timing is off. Think of the best decisions you’ve made. You were most likely feeling confident, very present and well- informed.
In The 21 Indispensable Qualities of a Leader, author John Maxwell explains: “Effective leaders understand the peak-to-peak principle. They make major decisions when they are experiencing a positive swing in their leadership, not during the dark times. As NFL fullback Bob Christian says, ‘I never decide whether it’s time to retire during training camp.’ He knows not to give up when he is in the valley.”
To that I would add that in training camp Christian doesn’t yet know how his team will perform during the actual season. The evidence is not yet available.
How does a leader gain the information needed? All good leaders surround themselves with a team of advisors. Even if you’re a small business owner, you have your attorney, CPA, financial advisor, etc. If you’ve not yet secured this team, now’s the time.
Oftentimes, it’s necessary to go outside of this team to attain the data. If timing permits, seek out other experts in your field - clients, customers, anyone involved. Listen without interrupting or interjecting your opinion. This is an information-gathering exercise.
Then, select the best timing. The saying ‘Let’s sleep on it’ contains wisdom. Studies show that pondering a problem prior to going to sleep allows your subconscious to work on it, producing the answer in the morning. This worked for me with college calculus years before I was aware of this process.
Please note that I said ‘ponder’ the problem, not ‘stress’ over it. Stressing over our problems only provides jagged, cloudy thinking. Slowing down to contemplate alternative approaches allows a smoother, more effective process.
Timing also has to do with your own rhythm. Some of us are more alert and decisive in the morning, others at 10:00 at night. Know your best time and, when possible, save your major decisions for that time of day.
Having said all of this, the most effective leaders that I personally know tell me that they gather the necessary information, know when the time is right and base their decision on their ‘gut.’ “It just came to me and I knew it was the right direction to proceed.”
Each of you is a leader in your world. Being decisive is important. Why not make it easier by gaining the information you need, moving forward when the time is right for you and of course trusting that gut, inkling or intuitive hit?
Enjoy your discoveries and have an outstanding week!
Ann Golden Eglé, MCC
Executive Coach & President
Golden Visions Success Coaching, LLC
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Permission is granted to either reproduce copy or distribute "Your Success Thought for the Week for May 31, 2006" as long as this copyright notice and full information about contacting the author is attached. The author is Ann Golden Eglé, Golden Visions Success Coaching, LLC, 541.385.8887, 21775 Rickard Rd., Bend, Oregon 97701, www.GoldenVisionsSuccess.com
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