Thursday, September 25, 2008

Making The RIGHT Decision

Most of the choices we made in life are based on the input, knowledge and information we have about certain things. If we know only a little, then we will make our choices based on that little knowledge that we have.

Actually, it is not just about having enough or not enough information, but also in our ability to filter and select the “right” information well. A lot of information today can be easily gotten by just googling through the Internet. But sometimes with too much info one can also get confused easily too.

Therefore, to be able to select what is relevant (and of course correct) and what is not, we need skills. A truly smart person will not only rely on the info from Internet alone, but will also use it to point towards people who can tell them more about a certain topic or issue.

This is important as people in general behave and make decisions in a particular way depending on what information and knowledge they already have.

Even though most organizations and governments make decisions based on a consensus among them, but there is always a leader. And this leader often “influences” the rest of the members to make a decision that he or she prefers. In fact, it would be hard for a leader to lead if he does not like the decision himself, so there has to be a lot of “negotiations” before a “compromise” solution is arrived at.

But what if the leader is no good? What if the leader has limited access to information or not knowledgeable, relying only on what other people tell him (especially those who are close to him), and then making decisions solely based on that? What if all the information he gets is all wrong or distorted?

Of course wrong information can lead to wrong decisions. Wrong decisions make people angry. But how would you know if the decision you have made is wrong?

Very simple actually. Just look around you, listen to what people are talking about. If you notice that people in general react badly, demotivated, retaliating or showing dissatisfaction and unhappiness, then the decision you have made is probably wrong !

And if you are very sure that a mistake has been done, then a good leader will not hesitate to admit, apologize and promise the people that it will not recur. He or she will immediately unchange or redo the mistake (wherever possible) while they are still in power, not wait till the end of the world ! Leaders have to take full responsibility on the decisions they've made - be it right or wrong.

But sometimes people also react badly even to a good decision. How can this happen? May be the people cannot understand why that decision was made. If this is the case, then the leader must have the guts and courage to explain clearly why such action needs to be taken.

Unfortunately, we sometimes have leaders who do not practice transparency. What more when they fail to notice or know that there are actually people out there who are reacting badly – as a result of his bad decision.

Some leaders might be fed by "butt-lickers" with info that these people react badly to them because they (the people) are not smart enough (to understand why and how the decision was made).

This gives the leader a "false" idea that the decision they made is correct, so they keep on repeating the same mistakes over and over again. People get angrier and angrier, yet the leader seems to think that everything is all right and going on just fine.

What is worse is when a leader simply does not lead. He or she is slow to respond to any issue that comes up believing it to be minor and which would simply go away if he ignores or “sweep it under the carpet”. But they fail to see that denial or ignorance only helps it spread like cancer because nothing is done by anybody to prevent it.

Then when the problem becomes too big to handle, instead of assessing the issue and deciding what to do, the leader strikes out with punishment measures. And then literally, strikes out.

In general, most people will accept any decision a leader makes as long as he can reasonable justify it. But what they will not accept is when the leader is unable to justify the action and giving reasons or excuses that insult the intelligence of people. And it is never a good idea to insult people you owe your position to.

At the end, we find ourselves in a position where we have to watch in horror as mistake after mistake is done. It is a bit like watching robbery happening in front of us and feeling powerless to stop it. Except that it takes a while to realize that in fact you can stop it. Because if you don’t, the victim may one day actually be YOU.

In short, a good leader will learn from a bad decision he made and not repeat it. At the same time, he should not ignore these problems in the hope that they will go away...

“Leadership is based on inspiration, not domination; on cooperation, not intimidation.” [William Arthur Wood]

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Yeah, I agreed with you. But sometimes in our life we have to deal with tough decision where we have to choose between our DESIRE and RIGHT decision. The people who had the authority should know the cost and effects. The conflict between the options will lead to self or others satisfaction. Most of the people who have authority would choose to fulfill their needs, only few would sacrifice their self for the others.