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Leaders Who Make Lightning-Quick Decisions
Making decisions with speed is a good thing if the decisions are sound and produce high-quality outcomes.
Jumping to a conclusion is only a problem when a leader lands on the wrong square. While speed is generally viewed as a detriment to quality decision-making, the ability to make split-second decisions can be a real asset when the situation calls for a fast conclusion.
Leaders who always make lightning-fast decisions are not to be trusted. No one is talented enough to see all of the options, assimilate the data, and act quickly all of the time. However, developing a faster gear for making accurate decisions with speed is a skill good leaders work on.
Getting better at making fast decisions starts with knowing your own values and beliefs. The more solid your everyday logic, grounded in well-formed values and beliefs, the easier it is to have a strong starting place for making a quick decision.
Leaders who know what they stand for have an easier time assessing competing goals and issues and making a good call. Since all quality decisions start with values, it makes sense that leaders who know themselves and what values they privilege will be better at speedy decisions.
Almost as important as strong values, the details and ingredients that make up the context for a decision also add to speed with accuracy. Leaders who spend the time to immerse themselves in the details and competing arguments surrounding a decision will likely reach a conclusion faster than others. The more expert the decision-maker is about the ideas and issues connected to any decision, the faster they can operate in distinguishing what is important and what isn’t.
When grounded in values and details, the unconscious becomes really good at quick decision-making. In fact, leaders often reach better conclusions quickly than they do when they engage more deliberately. The key is to feed the unconscious everything it needs to make a snap judgment. The more you know about the situation and how you view it before the decision, the better.
One mark of a good leader is their ability to make quick decisions that turn out to be of high quality. While major decisions deserve more time and attention, team effectiveness can benefit from decisions with increased speed. As long as decision quality remains the primary criterion for success, good leaders ignore the speed limits on the road to effective everyday choices.