Being in charge is an alluring idea. You get to make the important decisions, and well, you know what you’re doing, so you’ve got that covered, at least mostly, right?
Yeah, well, here’s the thing a lot of people don’t know before taking on a leadership role: you rarely have the information you want (sometimes need) to make important decisions.
Often, you have conflicting opinions and misleading information.
And you rarely get enough time to fill in the blanks. You need to make a call and you need to do it soon.
The leaders who truly shine are those who have learned to make hard decisions when they don’t have all of the information. They are the ones who get more of those decisions right (eventually) than wrong.
They are comfortable in a world of ambiguity and know how to make things clearer for their teams.
Leaders live in fog.
How do they do it..?
Leaders rely on their team: by involving their team to gather information and gain insight from different angles, the leader becomes more than themselves. They become smarter. But that doesn’t mean they put the weight of the decision on the team – it is theirs to carry.
They reflect: not every decision is right, so it’s important to learn from every decision, especially the poor choices.
They understand the impact: every choice has an impact on the business, the team and the individual humans involved that must be taken into account.
They correct their course: no leader makes the right call every time. So, the good ones shift to a better path as soon as they recognize that their decision was wrong and they ensure the team knows what changed and why.
The life of a leader is one of significant challenges, with little information. For some, that ambiguity is inherently stressful. For a few though, it’s a motivating challenge