Decision-making, the leader’s puzzle

Decision-making, the leader’s puzzle


The leader is often faced with making decisions. He often feels a fear that can cause him to avoid choosing. To move forward, he must learn to overcome it, to go beyond it. Whatever his tendency, whether rational, impulsive, intuitive, emotional… he will have to make him an ally so that she does not prevent him from making the best choice.

Both private and professional life are made up of choices and decisions. If you want to grow your business successfully, you need to learn how to make good decisions.

The influence of the entourage

The leader suffers, whether he wants it or not, theinfluence of his entourage. Many leaders take advice from competent people because the decision remains a risk-taking. The speed of change and competition sometimes require decisions to be taken in a very short time, which does not allow us to identify all the facets of the decision. Sometimes he has to decide in a few hours to take advantage of the opportunities that do not wait. He cannot procrastinate. Some decisions do not require in-depth reflection because they seem, a priori, obvious and logical, others are more complex when they involve the future of the company and therefore its sustainability. This is however one of the advantages of small structures which can quickly evolve.

The bigger the company, the less managers know how to decide

The interim management firm MPI Executive presented the results of its first Decision Barometer carried out by Ifop: 1,007 employees representing the French working population answered the question ” does your manager know how to decide? “. These results appear as a questioning for companies of the selection and training habits of their managers.

The survey highlights the fact that the ability to decide declines as the business grows. If 37% of TPE employees believe that their supervisor “knows how to make decisions”, the figure falls to 33% in SMEs … and 25% in large groups. The reason is, according to employees surveyed by Ifop, that in large companies, managers do not rise to the top of the hierarchy according to their ability to decide: 54% of employees in large groups believe that their managers “Are not chosen for their ability to decide”, on the other hand it is 44% in companies with 50 to 500 employees, 40% in SMEs and 31% “only” in very small businesses (less than 10 employees).

But the big surprise of this survey is in the observation that a (too) large number of managers have harmful behaviors when making a difficult decision. More than a third of employees consider that their superior “rather rejects the difficulty on the team” (34%), that he “tends rather to hide the difficulty” (38%) and that he “does not know how to deal with courageous decision ”(34%). These attitudes obviously have consequences both in human and financial terms. But the most worrying consequence is found in the fact that nearly one in two employees also judge that their manager “does not know how to motivate the members of his team” (42%) and therefore harms the development of the company by his lack of skills in this area.

To make a decision, go straight to the point

When making any decision, the leader must ask himself the questions: what is essential, and what is incidental? Then he must take a decision in support of the responses. He must use his intuition because it allows him to use his creative capacity. Neuroscientists have found that intuition has its place in decision-making and gives it a certain amount of confidence.

Richard Branson, in his book The Virgin Way: Everything i know about leadership, suggests 4 rules to follow in order to make a decision each time:

  • Never make decisions guided by your emotions that cloud your ability to discern. Our emotions prevent us from looking at the situation with an objective eye whether they are positive or negative.
  • Identify all the consequences of your decisions. Many decisions turn out to be bad because we think above all about the benefits they provide. Richard Branson urges us to assess all the risks associated with the decision.
  • Evaluate the impacts of each decision on other decisions. A good decision is a decision that does not harm the sustainability of others already in place. Before committing to making a new decision, make a diagnosis of the decisions already taken and the impact that the new decision will have on the previous ones.
  • Analyze the repercussions and take them into account. Any decision involves careful analysis and measuring the advantages and disadvantages inherent in it and anticipating their fallout.
  • Take risks! As Charles Lahmi, founder of LuluCastagnette, puts it: « You have to take risks! And, when a door opens, you have to go for it! It’s very rare for a door to open a crack, so when it does, you have to open it fully! Even if we mess up, we will have no regrets, there will be no I should have ”. The “I should have Is a terrible feeling! “.Don’t be paralyzedIt’s by stake One of the great dangers when we have to make a difficult choice remains to find ourselves in a kind of paralysis which prevents us from deciding. Often because the variables involved are such that it is impossible to determine whether the decision will be the best in advance. The reflex is then to gather a maximum of objective data and to decide according to these. But this actually amounts to excluding the factors that usually serve as a guide such as intuition, instinct or even our feelings which are often at the origin of decisions, sources of the development of the company.



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