Leaders are expected to be decisive.
One of my guests on the Leadership and Learning Podcast, retired CEO Ron Schumacher, said, “Sometimes a wrong decision is better than no decision. Your people need leadership, and they need to know where you stand, and what we should do.”
I fully agree; I’d sooner work for a leader who made a poor decision than one who could not decide what to do. I believe you can fix most bad decisions more easily than the damage caused by having no decisions at all.
Leaders have to constantly make decisions, yet some hesitate to make a final one because they don’t have buy-in for it. Getting buy-in can be extremely challenging.
When faced with implementing a challenging decision, anticipate the push back and build in a process that ensures buy-in.
These techniques may help you successfully get buy-in for your most challenging decisions:
- Share a vision of what success looks like as a result of this decision.
- Involve others early in the decision-making process to more easily earn their support.
- Present data and other evidence as proof of this being the correct decision.
- Explain the various options being considered and why you endorse one of them as the best.
- Solicit and activate supporters who can help achieve buy-in from other stakeholders.
Getting buy-in on your challenging decisions requires being influential, which takes careful thought, skillful planning, and stellar communication. Leaders who effectively influence their followers do not manipulate or coerce them. Rather, they build trust, understanding, and real collaboration.
Keep in mind these words of wisdom from American entrepreneur, author, and motivational speaker, Jim Rohn: “You cannot make progress without making decisions.”