Pre-Decide Before a Situation Unravels
In the throes of the moment, when excitement, pressure, and scrutiny can blind our ability to make objective decisions, leaders often fail to make the difficult — and often unpopular — call to change direction. It is always easier to stay the course with an inferior strategy due to the noise and distraction of the moment. We don’t like to take risks when everyone is waiting and watching. Making the best decision, irrespective of the expectation to play it safe, is critical for team success.
In order to make the hard decision and to prepare the team to do so, as well, the best leaders pre-decide before the actual moment arrives. Through scenario planning and so-called “war games,” leaders can decide the best course of action before the noise envelops them and alters their ability to see matters clearly.
These “if-then decisions" create a default pathway to follow based upon an objective view of the facts, pushing aside the distractions so common in the heat of the moment. For investors, this is the stop-loss decision that directs them to sell an equity when it hits a pre-determined price. For leaders, it means to put into motion an automatic decision when specific conditions occur or when certain facts align.
Making these kinds of difficult decisions when the action is taking place is almost impossible for even the best of leaders. When do we avoid risk? When do we embrace risk? By establishing a pre-determined choice given certain parameters, we take the decision out of the hands of a leader who may have been tempted to allow their emotions to speak more loudly than the facts.
Good decision-makers depend on pre-decisions before game time so they are prepared to make the most difficult calls when it really matters — without unnecessary upset or angst.
What have you pre-decided?