Science proves it: decision fatigue is a serious and real thing. Our intellectual and emotional horsepower gets depleted by the end of our workday.
When leaders and entrepreneurs spend a lot of precious energy in low-impact decisions or micro-management of their teams, everyone pays a hefty price. It is simply because hoarding decisions tend to undervalue employees and keep leaders away from making more significant decisions that, in fact, rightly deserve their attention. Therefore, leaders must never escape decision-making, but they must separate the high-leverage choices from the rest.
There is no denying that there are specific kinds of decisions and actions that only leaders can make. That’s true for everyone in the organization. When you decide to activate people to proactively lead within their area of expertise and sphere of influence, you get the best result across your entire organization.
Follow these four simple and time-tested leadership strategies to maximize the return on daily decision-making:
Strategy 1: Never make the same decision twice.
Undoubtedly, a majority of decisions taken by leaders are recurring choices. The best foot forward is always to decide once after determining what schedule to follow or which vendors to use and after that documenting or automating it.
Documentation of policies can save a lot of brainpower when it comes to parental leave, vacation approvals, or compensation changes.
Let me share an example. A few years ago, I decided that I will never engage in any sales conversation without my sales team first briefing me about the clients and their expectations, a brief introduction of the client, and past engagement. I benefit from this strategy every day.
Strategy 2: Let others choose for you.
One of the biggest mistakes that most entrepreneurs and leaders commit is to fall into the trap of micro-management unknowingly. This not only negatively impacts their employees or followers but also zaps their own mental energy. Trust me when I say this, it is indeed tempting to overthink on non-essential choices. A good leader instead asks himself: Can someone else answer this for me?
I remember some great words from Dawson Trotman, “Never do anything that someone else can and will do when there is so much of importance to be done which others cannot or will not do.” All in all, the underlying point is that you should hire talented people and let them lead with excellence, instead of trying your hands on everything.
Strategy 3: Use a defined process to make tough decisions.
It is incredibly critical to build and nurture a process that considers all variables. In 2015 when I founded Cloud Analogy, which is now one of the world’s leading Salesforce Implementation Partners and a Salesforce Silver Partner, I started using a recommendation briefing form. When someone on my teams shared an idea for my organization, I asked them to write up a one-sheet summary of their recommendation. This sheet includes rationale, background information, projected financial impact, and resources needed.
It actually spared me of performing the task of profitability analysis, and it made my team do their own leg work. I just have to agree or disagree, and I still facilitate such informed, and quick decisions and believe me, things are more comfortable than ever before.
Strategy 4: Take good care of yourself.
Your beliefs, approach towards personal and professional lives, and thinking are manipulated by biochemical reactions in your body. In fact, medical studies and research have proven time and again that there is a direct correlation between inadequate sleep and poor decision-making. So, it is crucial that you take proper rest and engage in regular exercise and follow a good diet. Take good care by rejuvenating yourself so you can lead your company well.
Follow these four simple leadership strategies to make fewer, faster, and better decisions.
CEO & Founder
15+ years leading business operations and client management in the segments of digital marketing and CRM. Driven by test-driven development paradigms, and exceedingly collaborative across all disciplines (from stakeholders to product to design to development to users – and back again).
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