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Decision making: the key skill of future leaders

Leaders! Lend me your ears for a moment. This will be the critical leadership skill over the next several years. Are you ready? The skill is… Decision making. “Oh. That’s it?” I know. I can feel your eyes rolling. It’s not sexy like “strategic innovation, or “AI implementation.” It will be critical, though. Think of this skill not in the everyday sense, but in a refreshed sense. And, embarrassingly, the refreshed sense looks like this: consider alternatives, decide, execute on the decision, and keep going until it’s done or it proves to be a bad decision. I say “embarrassingly” because even though that is the basic model, it seems that decision making has started to look like this: consider alternatives, make a half-hearted decision, start executing on the decision, rethink the decision, talk to more people, try to execute on the other alternatives to cover your butt, change course mid-stream, get distracted, focus on a new initiative, half-finish the original decision, get frustrated, get redirected by the SVP of something, and retreat to email. I am I getting close to the decision making model in your organization? Well, you’re not alone. We are in the golden age of opportunity. In this age, the ability to decide is a key skill.

by Jonathan Wilson

Jonathan is the Head Coach at Sandcastle Company, a Seattle-based leadership training organization. His first book, Future Leader: Rebooting Leadership to Win the Millennial and Tech Future [link], is now available. Jonathan regularly writes and speaks about The New Leader Way, leadership resilience, and the future of work. He has years of leadership experience in both the public and private sectors, a master's degree from Seattle University, and professional coach training from the University of Miami.

Filed under: Future Leader | Leadership

Published on February 13, 2019

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