Decision Free Leadership?

I love stories! It is a way you can learn a lot of things and a mode of communication can enrich your imagination! When I was young, one of my favor stories was the story about Alexander the Great and the Gordian Knot! I always admired the resolve and the decisiveness of Alexander in the face of that particular problem. Of course, at the time, I thought it was a story as the rest I heard by my parents! Only when I become a little older I realize that it was a true story of those my ancestors told to prepare the young people for their subsequent, adult, life!

Decision Free Leadership?

The story of Alexander the Great and of the Guardian Knot is a part of my Greek heritage and depicts vividly one of the greatest lessons in modern leadership. That there is no decision free leadership and, sometimes, to solve a seemingly impossible situation you need to take the risk, assume the responsibility, and think out-of-box! The story shows that sometimes, as a leader or in a leadership position, you need to take difficult decisions! Indecisiveness does not have a room at the behavior of a leader!

A Leader Is …

A leader, by definition, is someone who takes decisions! A leader (or someone in a leadership position) is the one who:

  • takes responsibility not only for his/her decision but for his/her decision’s consequences as well
  • assumes accountability and ownership of the decision, regardless of the result
  • does not focus on the needs of few, but he/she decided for the “greater” good
  • tries always to find ways to resolve a situation towards the best possible result for all the involved parties!

A leader is usually the person who takes a shot at a situation without concerns about his/her personal interest! Even if he/she does not like the result!

Decision-Free Leadership?

There is no decision free leadership! To be a leader usually means (among other things) to:

  • use all appropriate frameworks, methods, out-of-the-box approaches, ideas, tools, etc. to provide solid and quick decisions appropriate to any given situation, but be accountable for the output
  • use delegation, when it is appropriate and feasible, but he/she reserves the right to decide on his/her own on the things he/she believes as his/her responsibility
  • to make a lot of questions, in order to understand, in-depth, a possibly “difficult” situation
  • have to open your choices and try to develop more options for you and the other people a situation might concern
  • decide on difficult situations aiming at the best possible result for all concerned parties
  • be responsible for his/her vision, his/her values, the means and resources he/she used, the goals he/she aims at or delegates to his/her group, his/her associates, the alliances and networks he/she forms and utilize for achieving his//her objectives, and the people he/she is responsible for their welfare and future
  • remain strong in any situation
  • provide empowerment to him/herself and to the people follow him/her
  • take, when possible, the “extra mile
  • listen to all involved parties in a situation, but to have to decide on your own
  • provide cohesion and a sense of achievability to all and in any given situation
  • embrace the change, but he/she is responsible for the route
  • focus on what has to be done based on the real conditions of a given situation, on what’s there and not on abstract ideas and concepts might misguide him/her on the wrong path
  • be mindful of the weak links might be involved in a situation he/she must resolve
  • look carefully for your next steps, to design meticulously your next moves, and to have an eye for the future

In no situation, a leader can avoid the responsibility to make a decision and act! His/her indecisiveness might cost a lot to a lot of people, companies, and organizations! This is why cannot exist a decision free leadership situation!

What do you think?

    Takis Athanassiou is an IT Consultant, Blogger, Trainer & Writer, active in the areas of leadership, business consulting, e-Learning and social media. He aims at the development of people, business and assets! You can check out his blog, add him in Google+ and follow him on Twitter.

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