Decision making is a critical junction between success, failure or stagnation

Saturday June 24 2023

Building a track record of objective decision making strengthens support and garners respect from those affected by those choices. PHOTO | SHUTTERSTOCK


Why are some people applauded for their tough decisions while others receive a backlash for the same?

Decision making in leadership is a process that requires an effective ecosystem in order work. There are key factors that foster successful decision making irrespective of personal identities.

First, thorough preparation. When individuals who are adequately prepared assume positions of leadership, they reap the benefits of their readiness.

This is why succession planning and preparing people for roles is crucial. However, rarely do we find leaders well prepared in governance and leadership in the political space. Hence, many political leaders struggle when they first get there, resorting to trial-and-error.

The conditions that leaders deal with every day are progressively changing and as such yesterday’s knowledge will not solve today’s problem. How do we embrace technology and at the same time preserve the relevance and jobs of our people?

How do we maintain our morality and religious guidelines in a world that is becoming ever more secular and where so many benefits are tied to a morality that is not cultural? Are leaders ready to stand alone and turn their back on their benefactors? How do we balance emerging technologies with keeping the balance of global economies with crude oil price volatility? These are but a few of the new challenges leaders must face.


Read: AKINYEMI: Prejudice is not inborn but lethal to sanity of society

Second, a deep understanding of the context in which decisions are made is crucial.

This ensures informed judgments and enables leaders to navigate complexities with greater acuity. Well-informed decisions lay a strong foundation for success.

Leaders who understand the fluid nature of intelligence will have an advantage over those who are stuck with their past standard of intelligence. Relevance is not a function of intelligence but of resonance and unless the intelligence of a leader resonates with the led.

Third, surrounding oneself with capable individuals. By handpicking talented individuals and placing them strategically in various positions, leaders can cultivate a network of expertise.

This practice extends beyond a single person’s influence and emphasizes the significance of collective capabilities.

A diverse and competent team brings different perspectives, enriching the decision-making process and increases the likelihood of successful outcomes.

Inspiring confidence

Fourth, objectivity is a fundamental pillar of effective decision making.

Leaders who prioritise impartiality, foster trust and inspire confidence. This approach ensures that choices are made based on merit and the greater good, rather than being influenced by self-interest or external pressures.

Read: AKINYEMI: Without the right stories, we’ll repeat past mistakes

Building a track record of objective decision making strengthens support and garners respect from those affected by those choices.

Fifth, building strong relationships and alliances is crucial to navigating complex decision-making environments. Establishing networks across diverse sectors and geographic regions fosters collaboration and facilitates a broader understanding of diverse perspectives.

By cultivating relationships and alliances, leaders gain valuable insights, access resources, and promote cooperation, ultimately enhancing the quality of their decisions.

Lastly, confidence and security are vital attributes for effective decision making. Leaders must exhibit unwavering self-assurance in their choices, displaying confidence in their abilities and the decisions made.

A strong belief in one’s capacity to tackle challenges head-on inspires others and rallies support, even in the face of criticism or opposition.

Confidence and humility, allow leaders to admit mistakes, learn from them, and adapt their decisions accordingly.

Creating an ecosystem that fosters effective decision making requires a multi-faceted approach. It encompasses thorough preparation, deep understanding, team-building, objectivity, relationship-building, and personal confidence.

Wale Akinyemi is the founder of the Street University; Email [email protected]