The Effective Decision

Effective decision makers do not make many decisions. They concentrate on what is important. They make decisions that make a difference. And they know when a decision is necessary.

Effective decision makers know that the most important, and most difficult, part of decision making is not making the decision. That’s often quite easy. The most difficult and most important part is to make sure that the decision is about the right problem. Few things can do as much damage as right decisions to wrong problems.

Effective decision makers know that they haven’t finished making a decision until they build its implementation and effectiveness into it. Until then it’s not a decision—it’s only a good idea.

They also know that a decision is a commitment to action. And the actions required must fit the capacities, the understanding, the knowledge, the values, and the language of the people who will have to do the action.

The results of an important decision are usually in the future, and often quite a few years in the future. Hence monitoring and reporting have to be built in to the decision to provide continuous testing of expectations against actual events. To this end, effective decision makers build detailed organized feedback into their decisions, including reports, charts, figures, studies and they also go out and look for themselves.

Summing-up: The essence of management is making decisions. An effective executive makes these decisions as a systematic process with clearly defined elements and in a distinct sequence of steps.

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