Making significant decisions is one of the most challenging aspects of leadership.
When you are making decisions outside of your experience base, or when the landscape has changed, and the data isn’t pointing in a definite direction, this gets even more challenging! Maybe there are strong opinions in your team that are leading in different directions as well; now you’re in the deep weeds.
So you made a decision, you aligned your team in that direction and got everyone going, but you’re not sure! You don’t want to be indecisive, but something is nagging in the back of your head…
Just because you clearly communicate your commitment to a specific direction doesn’t mean that you are wed to that direction forever! You may encounter new data in 3 months (or 3 weeks) that changes your mind.
You can change your mind
But because you explained your thinking when you were making the decision, you can also explain the changes to your thinking if you have to make another decision.
When new information is available, you need to add it to your decision process. Does it confirm the decision you’ve already made, or does it make you reconsider?
This is the principal of strong opinions, weakly held — we commit to our decisions (because they are the best decision we could make with the information present). This means that we can make decisions rapidly (as our fast-moving times require of us) and not invest our egos in always being right.
So going back to our example of hiring a new Account Executive, we had decided that we would look for someone junior to add to the team, but:
After recruiting for some time, it appears that the market for junior account managers is very thin — there are very few good candidates and they weren’t really that much cheaper than experienced candidates. So instead we are going to hire an experienced candidate and put them on these 2 new projects we’ve landed; then look at moving 1 – 2 projects from the existing AMs to this new person over time.
By communicating the new data that you’ve received, and how the change will impact the team, you can get your team on board with the change without them second-guessing you or pushing back.
Do you resist reconsidering your decisions? Do you hold onto past decisions too long?