Any good business person knows the importance of strong decision-making. Managers and executives collectively make roughly three billion decisions every year. Decision-making directly plays into financial performance, customer satisfaction, and employee happiness. Decisions are the lifeblood of any strong workflow— so, as a manager, you want to make sure you’re doing it right.
Here are some key tips to bear in mind in your professional life to make sure that you keep improving your leadership and decision-making skills in the long term.
Follow the leader
Find people who are successful in your industry, ideally a few years ahead of you. Think about what qualities you admire in them and how you can emulate them in certain ways. You don’t want to copy everything they do, but there must be a recipe for their success. For example, Mark Wiseman is an industry leader in global investment banking. He has been a senior advisor for various organizations and has sat on the board of several non-profit organizations. His ideas over the recent months on economic growth are of high quality, and anyone looking to gather more knowledge and understanding of the financial sector would do well to follow him.
Any ambitious business leader could benefit from finding a good role model. The best solution for flourishing as a professional is to find people to look up to—like Wiseman— and listen to their ideas and opinions on financial news. Once you have the right voices to listen to, you’ll be amazed at the new perspectives you can bring to your own decision-making.
Don’t be afraid of big moves
There’s a reason you’re in the position to make the big decisions in the workplace. You might have people helping you in advisory roles, but at the end of the day, you’re in the driving seat for work policy. Even when it’s a big ask, sometimes a bigger cost or risk needs to be taken to maintain a high quality of work.
For example, let’s look at the purchase of an automatic shrink wrap machine. It’s a bigger investment but will save your business on labor costs. You can shift the effort of labor-intensive manual wrapping for smaller products and large ones by using these automatic machines. Your workforce can then focus on tasks that need the attention of humans. Additionally, with this added time and energy from your workers, you will have the ability to focus on a wide range of other products, or you could expand into new areas. This is a great example of a decision that might involve higher costs but also reaps great rewards. Only someone with the holistic perspective of a decision maker can take this step— and that should be you.
In case you didn’t get the memo, decisions are a part of daily life. From economic policies that affect the nation to deciding what you want on your toast in the morning, adults make roughly 35,000 conscious decisions every day. Put simply, you already do this as easily as breathing. So whether you are a line manager or a chief executive officer, you are wholly capable of making empowering decisions for the good of your professional progress and those around you. The only thing left for you to do is follow through and trust your gut and your experience to lead you in the right direction.
Once again, there is a reason you are in this position. Learn from those around you, continue to listen to advice and opinions from those higher up, but also remember that there is value in your own lived experience.