Effective Leaders Make Decisions

A major part of being a leader is making decisions. In fact, some would say that it is key to being a leader because a leader’s role is to make decisions for others and then lead them forward towards wherever that decision takes them. As a leader, I am sure you sometimes make a bad mistake here and there, but you must not let that get you down, keep pressing on and keep leading.

making-choices-trees-in-the-pathWe all make small decisions every day. We decide if we will wear a blue shirt or red one, if we will eat at one restaurant or another, or if we will have one cup of coffee or two. These all seem like easy decisions because you have probably made them before, you have already considered the benefits of another cup of coffee and the only factor left is if you have time for it or if the coffee is already made. When you have a harder decision, it is usually harder only because you have not had to make that kind of decision before, or because you have not really considered the benefits and costs fully.

Decision making is something that takes time to work at and practice. You practice making decisions, and sometimes you make great decisions, and other times you do not. When you make a bad decision, you must learn from it, and then move on. A mentor once told me that decision making is something that you will always need to work at and practice, and it will become easier, but never easy.

I can remember one business class I had in college where the professor told us that all he wanted us to learn in that class was how to make good decisions. Everything we did in that class was aimed at helping us become better decision makers. It really was more of a transformational leadership class than a business class, but it has helped my leadership and decision making skills in many lasting ways.

So where are you at today? Do you avoid making decisions? Or maybe you are a fairly decent decision maker? No matter where you are, you must remember this; making good decisions takes practice, so get out there and start practicing, and soon your leadership and even life, will benefit from better decisions .

As a final note, if you are facing a big decision, it is imperative to include God in that decision. He knows the answers and he is willing to guide you. So rely on Him and his expertise in decision making to help you make better decisions.

photo by Rickydavid

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5 Basic Leadership Skills Every Leader Needs

Sometimes you just need to focus as a leader on a few basic skills

Sometimes you just need to focus as a leader on a few basic skills

More than a few books have been written on what qualities or traits a leader needs. For some it might seem overwhelming – all the traits and skills a leader must have, but it does not have to be overwhelming. Here are five basic leadership skills every leader needs. If you can work on even just one of these at a time, you will become a much better leader and be able to lead more effectively and efficiently.

1.     Effective communication – a leader needs to be able to speak clearly and efficiently. They should not waste time babbling on about unimportant things. They need to make use of every opportunity they have to talk with those under them and they need to not overwhelm them with what they say. They also need to be willing to carefully and patiently reiterate what they said if it is not understood the first time. At times, a leader must use non-verbal means of communication to get the point across. So be sure to always analyze what you say and do to be certain that you are communicating effectively.

A leader should have a vision and long term goals

A leader should have a vision and long term goals

2.     Clear vision and distinctive goals – a leader should always have a vision or goal for the future. Think about this, if a leader is leading a group of people through a blizzard and decides to set no goals or direction, where do you think they will end up? Well, probably they will not end up anywhere they would want to be. They might even die because they got stuck out in the cold. It’s the same way with everything else; if a leader has no vision or direction, then the entire group will get nowhere and might even die (NOT literally though). A vision is important because it provides a reason for the group or organization to exist. Leaders should always be considering their long term goals and then structuring their short term goals so that they help accomplish the long term ones.

3.     Continued learning and coaching – you probably had someone who helped you and mentored you when you first started leading a group of people. This might have been your boss, pastor or someone else. Once you got the hang of things, you probably thought you could lead on your own right? Well, a leader really needs to always continue to learn how to lead. When a leader stops and thinks they have it all together then they set themselves up for failure. It is imperative to have a mentor or close friend who can offer advice, council, and even rebuke. We all make bad choices at times, and when you have a mentor or coach and are willing to learn, you will minimize the mistakes you make.

4.     Good decision making abilities – one of the biggest jobs a leader has is decision making. They must make the decisions for themselves, and all those who are following them. Good decision making skills come from experience and learning from others. Whenever you have a decision to make, consider the decisions other people have made in a similar situation and use that to help you. Also, and this is very important, rely on God to help guide your decisions.

5.     Positive attitude and outlook on life – lastly, a leader must always keep a positive attitude and outlook on life. A leader sets the example for others, so the leader must always try to be enthusiastic, excited, and positive. It’s not always easy, but when you rely on God, he will help you out on those tough days.

Leading others can be difficult and challenging but if you implement these five basic leadership skills in your life you should be able to lead a lot more easily and effectively.

photos by Ocell ,dsevilla Respectivly.