Last week I shared my formula for becoming a disruptive leader. Today we need to discuss one critical element of any success or disruption – making great decisions.
I’m mindful that we are embroiled in a historic presidential election. But I’m struck by the reasoning many are giving for making their decision for president. Some are claiming it is an easy choice because one candidate is so repulsive. Others are saying it is a difficult choice because neither candidate is appealing. Still others say they are choosing not to vote. This makes me wonder how people make their decisions and if this is the reason so much are struggling.
I have learned that when you want to know what works best, study those who have been the most successful. In this case, I turned to the classic book, Think and Grow Rich, published in the 1930s. This book is so amazing because Napoleon Hill studied several hundred people from around the world who had accumulated fortunes well beyond the million-dollar mark. He found that every one of them, without exception, built a habit of making great decisions.
I speculate that if we replicated his study today, looking at the most successful leaders of our modern age, we would find a similar result. I know I have seen those results played out in my executive coaching clients.
So what do we find about making great decisions in this classic study and book?
Let’s focus on 3 of the most significant tips.
First, Make Decisions Promptly
Many times we struggle to make a decision, not sure which way to go or when to start. We worry about timing and outcomes. But in Napoleon Hill’s study, he found that leaders like Henry Ford reached decisions quickly. This comes because they know what they want. They have a burning desire. Some might claim they are consumed by that desire. So every decision they make works to attain that desire.
What does that mean for us? We cannot make great decisions if we don’t know what we want. Once we do, we can make decisions quickly.
Leverage Your Leadership Power: Know What You Want and Decide Quickly to Get It.
Second, Make Decisions Definitively
Not only do these leaders have a habit of making swift decisions but they are slow to deviate from that decision. Because they are consumed by that desire, they built a habit of making good decisions and sticking with those decisions. It is so important that they build a habit and stick to it. Sometime that leads to a mistake but, for the most part, it served them well. For example, Henry Ford made some regrettable decisions because he didn’t change fast enough but over the course of his life, his stubborn approach to stick with his decisions brought far more success than failure.
What does that mean for us? When we make a habit of focusing on our burning desire, we know what we want and do not lose focus easily. We also do not let others dissuade us from what we know is right. Yes, that might make us stubborn but that is how the great leaders operate.
Leverage Your Leadership Power: Don’t Change Your Mind Quickly.
Third, Make Your Own Decisions
Hill observes that the majority of people who “fail to accumulate money sufficient for their needs are, generally, easily influenced by the opinions of others.” But the accomplished leaders utilize masterminds to generate great ideas, weigh the options before making the decision by themselves. Once they do, they don’t blame because they know they made the decision. They own it.
Henry Ford and all those other great leaders then and now make great decisions because they know the value of gathering good advice. They don’t think they know it all but rather have a stellar team that digs for all the facts, perspectives and opinions. Great leaders do their homework and then own their decision.
What does that mean for us? Great leaders don’t do it all on their own. They build a team to gather the best information so they can make the critical decisions. As leaders, someone has put their trust in us to make the best decisions based on the best information. Once we have that information, it is your call. Own it. Trust your gut. Trust your decisions.
Leverage Your Leadership Power: Make Your Own Decisions.
“People who fail to accumulate money, without exception, have the habit of reaching decisions, if at all, very slowly, and of changing these decisions quickly and often.”
Think and Grow Rich
Become the Disruptive Leader
I am Dr. Loren Murfield and I work with aspiring and emerging leaders to become disruptive leaders. One decision I help them make is in writing their weekly blog, articles, white papers, online courses and a book. If that is your desire, contact me today.
Checkout my online leadership platform. Power University
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(c) Murfield International, Inc. 2016