Yellow Lines and Dead Armadillos by SCN Blog Contributor, Julie Jakopic.

One of the most important responsibilities leaders face is making decisions. In an increasingly complex and fast-paced world, decisiveness is a critical skill. After all, as my friend Elizabeth says, the middle of the road is for yellow lines and dead armadillos.

How do you make decisions?

In an ideal world, we understand the scope of the problem, gather and evaluate potential solutions, identify the best options and implement it. In reality, we often don’t have all the facts or all the time to develop alternative options.

When we can’t decide from a perfect dataset, it’s important to know our decision making preferences so we can be aware and get additional support when needed.

Which of these styles best describes you?

The Analytic Decision Maker – This style sees decisions and problems or puzzles to be solved, gathers all the facts, determines standards for the decision and decides. This style is deliberative and data driven. Those that prefer this style are often motivated by achievement and overcoming challenges.

The Directive Decision Maker – This style uses rules and instinct to make quick decisions and enforces them. They react quickly and decide quickly. They often expect and inspire others to follow, without question. Those that prefer this style are often motivated by power.

The Behavioral Decision Maker – This style gathers input from others, promotes discussion and collaboration, and decides based on this input and their intuition to decide quickly. Those that prefer this style are often motivated by the need for connection.

The Conceptual Decision Maker – This style gathers data and personal input. Unlike the Behavioral Decision Maker, the Conceptual Decision Maker is less concerned with looking for consensus and connection, but in creating a unique solution that considers a broad perspective and long term consequences. Those that prefer this style are often motivated by achievement through freedom and recognition.

When you know your preference, you also know your blind spots and where you might benefit from the input of others on your team.

Julie N. Jakopic
iLead Strategies®
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