The Weight of a Decision
Guess what? As a leader, you will have to make some tough decisions, and not only will you have to make some difficult decisions, but those choices will also impact other people. Regardless if that decision you have to make is within your family unit or workplace, it will affect someone else. That is why there is weight to the choices we make. As you grow in your leadership and your platform expands, your decisions start impacting more and more people. As tricky as some of your choices may be, that weight is actually a good thing if you frame your perspective right. We need a healthy sense of what is at stake so that we are not flippant with our choices. Of course, everything needs balance and we can’t shrink back with fear of messing up, but as Solomon says, we need to be strategic with our decisions.
‘Wise people think before they act; fools don’t—and even brag about their foolishness.’ Proverbs 13:16
‘Do your planning and prepare your fields before building your house.’ Proverbs 24:27
We must have a thoughtful process for the decisions we are going to make. So very quickly, let’s talk about the 7 ways to handle the weight of a decision.
1. Gather The Facts.
Our tendency as people is to deflect from the negative. We don’t really want to know what isn’t working and only focus on what is working. Of course, I don’t suggest we are always negative, but hiding from your problems does not make them go away! Have you ever known individuals, maybe you personally, that refuse to check their bank balance? The reason is that seeing their balance throws their stomach in knots and out of sight means out of mind, which causes them less stress. The problem with that analysis is their money problems never go away; they actually get worse. This is precisely the issue with many leaders. When we ignore our problems, they grow. So if we are to solve them, we must be brutally honest. Having problems does not make you an ineffective leader, because everyone has issues that need to be fixed. It is ignoring those problems that makes you an ineffective leader.
I know what you are thinking. Of course, the pastor is going to drop the cliche answer. Let’s be honest; it is a cliche because it works. Prayer works!
‘If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking. ‘ James 1:5
If you need wisdom, then you need to ask God, whose thoughts and ways are higher than yours, and let divine revelation collide with your heart! Not only that, but let’s be honest, after you gather the facts, you may get hit with a pretty big dose of stress. But guess what? You don’t have to carry the burdens yourself as you cast your cares upon Jesus. I love how Paul calls us to prayer in our most stressful seasons.
‘Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.’ Philippians 4:6-7
3. Discuss the Facts with your Team
The biggest lie you will fall into is the lie that people will think less of you if they know the issues at hand. I promise you vulnerability is a team builder, not a destroyer. Do you know what will make them think less of you? Destroying the organization, your family’s finances, or you fill in the blank because your pride refuses to allow anyone to help you. I promise you that you cannot hold the weight alone, and you need your people on the same page as you to move forward in health.
‘Plans go wrong for lack of advice; many advisers bring success.’ Proverbs 15:22
4. Gather Options
However, just filling them in on the problem is not enough. We need to put our heads together to discover the right solution. You don’t need an answer, you need the correct answer, which takes place with the way you encourage your team’s input. I found out that the first idea is rarely the right idea, and that as we discuss the situation more in-depth, we tend to discover the right path to take. One of the best practices you can implement with your team is the “three to five solution” rule. This solution can be used when any new problem presents itself. Each team member should come up with three to five solutions to fix that problem, and then together, you discuss which is the most effective solution to move forward with. This simple exercise will bring better ideas to the table and cause your team to handle the decision’s weight so much better!
5. Talk it over with your Mentors
‘Without wise leadership, a nation falls; there is safety in having many advisers.’ Proverbs 11:14
There is so much safety found in the wise counsel of those that have been there and done that. I promise you will save yourself much heartache if you can learn to ask for advice and listen to the feedback given by those who have already gone before you. To do this effectively, you need to be the best at asking questions so that you can maximize the time you have with your mentor, and you need to be a person that executes on the advice given. This shows respect and honor, and this is the way you continue to have them invest in your life.
6. Share Your Plan with the Influencers
Once you have made a decision, you need to personally share your plan with the key influential leaders in your organization. These influencers should NEVER find out your plan when the masses do. Why? First off, it is disrespectful to them. Secondly, you will need their influence to pull this change. It is vital to vision cast and get them bought into your plan. This is an essential part of the process if you are going to succeed!
7. Not Everyone Will Agree with You
You have to understand that not everyone will agree with the decisions you make. Inevitably, you will have people that disagree with you. You have to be resolved in your spirit, knowing that your choice is for the betterment of many, and you will not be swayed by the few who do not like your plans. As leaders, we cannot jeopardize the health of the majority for the complaints of the minority!