How to be a Decisive Leader

Last week we discussed the importance of developing leadership “soft skills” and more specifically skills such as the ability to inspire , create a vision, be decisive, and generate passion.

This week we review “being decisive” as an important leadership quality.

How to be a decisive leader

  1. Understand the options

  2. Establish timeline, with a sense of thoughtful urgency

  3. Be flexible

  4. Prepare for “bad” decisions

Leaders can never be certain that they have all of the information and data before deciding. They can however determine which of the option(s) best aligns with the priorities and values of the organization.

According to a 2017 Harvard Business Review, one of the four things that set successful CEOs apart is the ability to make decisions with speed and conviction.

Leaders who make decisions with speed and conviction might not always get things right, but they’ll be able to keep their organization moving forward.

Adaptable CEOs aren’t discouraged by delays and obstacles. As John Lennon once said, “Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans.” This statement could not be more accurate when applied to the rapidly changing world of business. The ability to adjust the course and adapt quickly is a defining characteristic of a good leader.

Good leaders recognize that they will inevitably make a wrong decision at some point along the way.

There will be times that despite your best efforts, you make what is ultimately the wrong choice. You can become a more decisive leader when you have contingency plans for every major decision outcome.

There are few decisions in life or business that cannot be reversed or modified. Good leaders see each “wrong” decision as the opportunity to improve their decisions making process. They investigate what went wrong and learn from the experience.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at