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My Daddy used to say that the quality of your life is determined by the quality of your decisions.

My Daddy used to say that the quality of your life is determined by the quality of your decisions. There are several factors that contribute to what are considered quality decisions. Such as, you need to be able to read the room, know the objective at hand, and then move decisively. I have found that people who possess all three of these attributes are a rarity. 

Reading the room starts with having heightened awareness, intuition, and keen psychoanalytical ability. It’s having the capacity to listen, understand, and appreciate the thoughts and emotions of others. Basically, it’s tuning into the flow of things, a sixth sense. It’s instinctual. And these attributes blossom overtime. That is why great leaders are like fine wine. The longer they are viable in the game, the better they become at reading the room. 

Next is knowing the objective at hand. To me, this is a no-brainer. Because if you don’t know and fully understand your objectives, then how can you be successful at anything? You’re essentially rudderless. It’s amazing how often leaders don’t thoroughly understand the task at hand. And if they don’t, how can they expect their team members to understand?

Successful execution of your objectives begins by empowering your downstream leaders to make decisions. Their ability to do so has a synergistic messaging effect across internal departments as well as with your partner and client communities. A key is keeping your objectives simplistic and straight forward. Doing so instills confidence on all fronts because team members not only understand what to do, but why they are doing it. This allows you to build momentum by making sure everyone knows the objective at hand, and then efficiently and effectively enacting said objective. 

Beyond the ability to read the room and understand your objectives, many leaders rely on making timely decisions. They do this by creating a sense of urgency that permeates the entire organization. Then they hold themselves and everyone else accountable. Sure, people will make their share of bad decisions, but if they learn from those experiences, they inevitably grow and make better decisions the next time. 

I often wonder why certain individuals end up in leadership roles, especially within highly successful companies that embody a plethora of intellectual talent. It can’t be because they are that much smarter than the people around them. Even so, I’m sure they are very bright. I believe it comes down to their ability to make good decisions, quickly. We are talking about heat of the moment decisions that require a steady hand and grace under pressure. I heard a funny quote the other day related to decisiveness: “Be decisive. Right or wrong, make a decision. The road of life is paved with flat squirrels who couldn’t make a decision.”

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