Decisions. Choices. Selections. Whatever word you want to
use, a leader’s day is filled with opportunities to go one way or another; to
create this or that; to push forward or pull back.
And that’s just the easy stuff.
Years ago, I wrote a book on decisions called Today
Matters. The thesis of the book is simple—successful people make the
right decisions early and manage those decisions daily. The earlier you
make those right decisions and the longer you manage them, the more successful
you will become. Neglect to make or manage those decisions, and you’ll look
back on your life with regret.
In the book I dive into the 12 decisions that you need to
make and manage but let me share a few here. To be successful, you must make
right decisions about your:
And that’s only half the list!
The other half are just as important, just as critical to
your success. I recently shared with Maximum Impact Mentoring group four of
those 12 decisions that have shaped my life the most:
- Personal Growth—my choice to intentionally grow every day to develop my potential.
- Partnerships—my choice to first help others get what they need.
- Relationships—my choice to make sure that those closest to me love and respect me the most.
- Leadership—my choice to add value to leaders who multiply value to others.
None of those decisions were made lightly, and each one has
shifted over time. My decision to make personal growth a daily commitment has
meant paying attention to where growth was most needed. Likewise, my commitment
to my health requires accountability from others, because it’s not a natural
area of strength for me.
Over time, as I’ve practiced managing these decisions,
I’ve come to appreciate just how much they affect my daily life, not just as
stand-alone decisions, but as a collection of choices that create smart
boundaries for me.
My decision to grow personally feeds into the partnerships I
choose, which impacts the work I do, which impacts the leaders I develop, which
in turn determines the type of leader I am—and that’s who my family evaluates
and appreciates (or corrects). One decision flows into the next.
While I can’t tell you what decisions to make in your life,
I can tell you that the areas I’ve highlighted are the decisions all leaders
face. What you decide to do is up to you, but your choices will determine who
you become as a result. That’s why choosing well is so important.
When it comes to making decisions, let me give you five
things that help make your decisions beneficial:
- Action—a choice means nothing without action behind it. Whatever you decide to do, do it.
- Timing—making the right choice at the right time increases your odds of success; don’t wait to do something you know you need to do.
- Management—revisit your decisions and make sure you’re living up to them.
- Acceptance—this comes down to three things: ownership, authenticity, and accountability; be responsible for your choices, invite others to speak into them, and keep the commitments public to ensure you stay on track.
- Leadershift—there’s the old saying, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” but then there’s the Maxwell version, “If it ain’t broke, break it and make it better, because nothing stays good forever.” Adjustment is the price of relevance.
I believe that good leaders have a bias for action, but I
also know that you can learn to make good decisions and take good actions. It’s
not something you have to be born with—it’s a skill you can learn. That’s why
my team created “The Mentor’s Guide to Decision Making”, an audio collection of
some of my best teaching on the topic of decisions.
And for a
limited time, it’s being offered in a bundle with “The Mentor’s Guide to Everyday
Challenges,” because nothing tests a leader’s ability to make decisions quite
like a challenge!
Whatever challenges you may face, or whatever decisions you
might need to make, your ability to choose wisely and take action greatly
impacts your ability to see a successful outcome. Remember, successful people
make and manage the right decisions daily.
And it makes all the difference.