D – Decisive

D – Decisive

adj. Decisive having the power to decide; conclusive; characterised by decision and firmness; resolute; beyond doubt; unmistakable.^1

It’s better to be boldly decisive and risk being wrong than to agonise at length and be right too late.
– Marilyn Moats Kennedy

Not all decisions are equal or favoured by the majority.

We see the slings and arrows aimed at politicians, those in public office and high-profile decision makers. Leaders are in the spotlight.


Running on Autopilot?

Unless you’re an android in a sci-fi film, Google translator or my automated vacuum at home, robots can’t make decisions quite like us just yet. But don’t underestimate the rise of artificial intelligence through apps and machinery and leverage it where you can.

My vacuum cleaner methodically glides around the floor, bumping into walls and table legs, saving me hours over the course of the year with office cleaning. It’s one less decision I need to make so I can focus on the human connections and other supporting elements.


Delegated Authority

The type of role and responsibilities you are employed to undertake will determine the level of delegated authority you have and the gravity of decisions you may have to make. Refer to your employment contract for clear operational guidelines and seek clarity from your up-line or governing board at CEO level.

If you’re asking team members or strategic partners to follow you and you’re uncertain of your delegated authority or undermined by your up-line, then you may find yourself a little frustrated.

If you have direct reports working with you, then be sure that you’re clearly expressing their financial, communication and engagement authorities for maximum support and transparency.


Fatigue Impacts Decision Making

Can’t think straight? Fatigue lends itself to double-mindedness: the inability to think clearly and to make decisions. You need to take care of your brain. If you’re experiencing difficulty in this area, then you may need to undertake the following:

  • Create space in your work day for reflection and critical thinking.
  • Set the framework for decision-making, being clear on expectations, timeframes, and consequences.
  • Ask questions to clarify your understanding and to identify the underlying motivation for requests or any hesitation you encounter.
  • Embrace robust conversations and encourage your team to liaise with you. Recognise your own blind spots. Encourage debate and think tanks, question ideas and concepts, test and measure all while walking quietly confident in your authority.
  • Finding it tough? Get up and walk away. Hit the refresh button on your thinking before resuming the process. The saying ‘motion changes emotion’ refers to taking a short break from the task at hand. Get up and move around. You’ll return with a clearer head and better concentration.
  • Establish decision-making terms of reference to assist your ability to swiftly adapt or pivot when needed. Re-evaluate and implement troubleshooting strategies in order to communicate progress and achieve outcomes.

  • Develop a sound knowledge of operational policies, procedures, processes, and protocols. This will be critical to accurate decisiveness that upholds legislation and protects your employer from risk.

Imagine if your team and colleagues were all on the same page? Order Your Copy of Tarran’s Book “The Alphabet Principle: Your A-Z Guide to Being a Compelling Leader for Real Life@Work”. It’s designed with short sharp chapters and checklists to enhance your effectiveness, increase your confidence and get you home on time!

Danielle’s Story

Danielle was an extremely capable, senior executive who was carrying enormous responsibility when I began working with her. The company delivered real-time intervention for individuals battling depression and suicide. This pressure was impacting the whole C-suite in different ways.

Working with Danielle in an executive coaching capacity, we identified some immediate strategies to bring the management team together and key phrases to enhance communication. We also liaised with a representative of the board for insight and to promote a sense of safety for everyone.

Danielle liaised with the board of the national organisation, navigated the death of a colleague, safeguarded the compliance obligations and took steps to transition into a more sustainable role with an alternative firm.

Danielle was a compelling leader and her new boss declared her ‘a superstar’. Why? She identified continuous quality improvements. She also recognised the growth that comes from trying and the risks that posed a threat to people, property, and brand, while pursuing constructive relationships with colleagues, clients and community.

Are you like Danielle and make considerate decisions?


Leading Change

Leading change in the workplace and being the conduit between the board and the frontline service staff is one of the toughest positions to be in, particularly when the stakes are high. It requires gathering information, assessing the pros and cons, liaising and consulting with people who are vital stakeholders in the decision-making process.

Decisiveness is a double-edged sword. A leader who defers too often to other people’s opinion will lose the respect of key performers. In instances where the workplace culture is already complex, the leader who, after consulting, takes decisive action, may experience pushback from underground leaders and problem generators.

‘A compelling leader,’ notes firefighter Anthony Brewin, ‘has to be decisive. He must be able to admit fault and change when necessary.’ Decisiveness is not a popularity contest. Make your peace with that. As a compelling leader, you will have to consider the consequences, stand on your convictions and weather the storm.


Being Led Through Change and Finding It Difficult?

Change is awkward for some, particularly when you’ve been consulted and your opinion, having been heard, is not incorporated as the organisation moves forward. Here’s where you need to ask yourself some questions:

  • Do you get on board with the future direction the business is going in and keep a sweet spirit about it?
  • Do your values continue to align with the organisation’s? If they do, that’s fantastic and you need to decide to buy into this and align yourself to the new decision and direction.


Your Decisive Checklist

Empty your head before you leave the office each day, devoting 15 minutes to consistently complete the first two tasks.

  • Write down your achievements for the day or cross off tasks in your diary which had been accomplished.
  • Write down your objectives for tomorrow and list the opportunities and possible obstacles. Also note other stakeholders involved in the decision-making process.
  • Prioritise your goals and project objectives for medium- and long-term periods.
  • Keep the lines of communication open. Pursue clarity with your up-line and don’t shy away from the robust conversations necessary for the business to move forward.
  • In operational matters, particularly when senior management may be off-site, you must be clear on whether your role is to research or roll out decisions before committing to the completion of the task.
  • For medium- to long-term projects that require ongoing decisions, consider using tailored project management software to aid in this task. Keep relevant team members up to date on any action taken.
  • Stick to your timelines and say no to other requests if you have too much on your plate. Your ability to make decisions and complete tasks can become eroded by distractions. Learn how to diplomatically refuse a request and practice your negotiation skills.
  • If you have experienced trauma or have been working at an elevated level for a prolonged period of time, then you may find yourself depleted. Take time to rest and recharge. See your doctor if necessary.

^1. The Free Dictionary by Farlex, decisive, http://www.thefreedictionary.com/ decisive



About the Author- Tarran Deane the Alphabet Principle Your A-Z Guide to Being a Compelling Leader for Real Life at Work - Speaker, Keynote COnference Speaker, PCO Speaker, MICE Speaker, Bureau Speaker, Associations SpeakerTarran Deane is the Author of “The Alphabet Principle ~ Your A-Z Guide to Being a Compelling Leader, for Real Life@Work”. With executive and leadership experience, covering more than 41,000 hours, across human services, workforce planning, associations and peak bodies, along with banking and tourism, Tarran has spoken at conferences and events in Australia, New Zealand, Asia and the United States of America, on strategic and operational elements of Leadership, Communication, Change Management, Diversity, Inclusion and Engagements.


An executive Director of Corporate Cinderella Pty Ltd, Director of Gold Coast Charity, Newlife Care Inc, tarran is also a Director and the 2018 National President of Professional Speakers Australia.

As a wife, mum & step-mum, Tarran loves the tapestry of family life and recharges by serving others, chilling out and racing her Ducati 800 Monster through the hills of Northern NSW.

Imagine if your team and colleagues were all on the same page? Order Your Copy of Tarran’s Book “The Alphabet Principle: Your A-Z Guide to Being a Compelling Leader for Real Life@Work”. It’s designed with short sharp chapters and checklists to enhance your effectiveness, increase your confidence and get you home on time!