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A Wrong Decision is Better Than No Decision

July 27, 2021

“In any moment of decision, the best thing you can do is the right thing, the next best thing is the wrong thing, and the worst thing you can do is nothing.” Theodore Roosevelt

Before I started my own company, I worked for CEOs and managers who were classic quick decision makers. You would present them with a problem or a predicament, they would ask a few pointed questions, then quickly give you a decision on how to proceed. These individuals typically made very good decisions.

I also worked for CEOs and managers who were classic methodical and deliberate decision makers. They would listen to the problem or issue. They too would also ask pointed questions. Then they always asked when a decision was needed, or more importantly, were able to discern when a decision was required. Then they would take their time, often ask more questions, and finally provide a decision by its due date. For the most part, these individuals also made very good decisions.

Then there are those, including myself at times, who prolong making decisions. They continue to gather facts, ask questions, and seek advice — at times waiting so long to render a decision that it is made for them. Sometimes this works, but more often the result is a fractional success of what could have been — not to mention the waste of resources and the cost in efficiencies and productivity.

In day-to-day business, very few decisions are permanent. Poor decisions may be costly, but most can be rectified or overcome with time. The inability to decide, however, is an obstacle that will continually result in ineffective management, poor leadership and less than optimal solutions.

Make it fast, or make it slow, but learn to be decisive.