I've never met a leader who told me, "I REALLY want to screw this next big decision up! Seriously, I want to make a mistake that really does hurt people!" And yet we as leaders sometimes do.
As a leader I've made some right decisions and some wrong ones…and as I've reflected on the ones I've made that are wrong there are some things that those wrong decisions have in common.
I made the wrong decision when…
#1 – I Stopped The Conflict In The Room
Every team has healthy conflict, you know, when two people can disagree about a decision without the relationship being ended. One of the good things (and bad things) about leaders is that we love to fix things, and so often times when good conflict is taking place we will often jump in and settle the argument and stop the conflict. AND…when we do we believe it's good, when the opposite is quite true. Healthy conflict will often lead to great decisions!
#2 – I Was More Passionate About Getting Through My Meeting Agenda Than Making The Best Decision
I have a list of things I want to accomplish in a meeting, and often times I have felt we were not making progress and, because I feared that we were not going to get through all we had planned, would jump in and begin to make really quick decisions. During a meeting THE single most important issue is the one that is on the table being discussed…NOT the next item on your list. If every item does not have the full attention of everyone at the meeting, then some people simply do not need to be at the meeting.
#3 – I Refuse To Listen
When a leader refuses to accept what others at the table are saying there is going to be trouble. This will usually happen because…
■The leader is insecure and needs to be right…and his desire to be perceived to be the smartest in the room outweighs his desire to do the right thing.
■The leader knows what others will say…and he doesn't want to hear it (often because he knows others are right!)
BTW…leaders, if you are holding back on sharing something with your team because you know they will push back because they won't like it…then you REALLY need to think through it because if you cannot lead those closest to you through what you are wanting to do…how in the world do you think you will be able to lead your church through it?
#4 – I Settle For What I Already Know Is A Temporary Solution When I Should Be Seeking A Permanent One.
Our job as leaders is not to make things as easy, convenient and painless as possible…but rather to do what is right, even when it's hard! When we make a decision knowing it is not best long term then we willingly put people and our churches/organizations at risk…which is not good leadership. We should always ask, "what is right" rather than "what is easy!" YES, leadership is hard…that's why not everyone does it!!! So fight through the easy stuff to get to the right stuff.