The Point of Resolve

June 29, 2010 by  Filed under: Management 

“The point of resolve” is the moment when an individual or a group summons up the will to make a tough decision. There is chance for great loss- or great success. But at some point the door opens, you make the decision, and suddenly it’s behind you. Ahead of you are the consequences. But for the moment, you are at the point of resolve.

When we need to make difficult choices, we have hundreds of factors to take into consideration. The swirl can confuse us. The process can feel unbalanced. But, at some point, we obtain our moment of clarity. Once you break through, you’re past the moment of resolve and into implementation mode. There’s no turning back.

To be a valuable leader, you must enlighten others about these moments of decision. People need to know you’ve made a tough decision, that you’ve committed to a course of action, and that there’s no turning back. People look for signs of resolve in their leaders – it builds trust to know that their leaders are willing to make tough stands.

A critical ground rule must be followed when the decision is finally made: everyone must stick together to support the decision, regardless if you opposed it in the past. The ground rule needs to be plain: after the decision is made, everyone stands in agreement of it. Leaders who are looking to construct trust must enforce this ground rule with no exceptions.

Communicate the Results

At some point, the decision is made. The next step is telling people the results and explaining the rationales behind the decision. Surprisingly, this is where a lot of decision processes break down. You may be finished, but there are others who may still be unsure. A complex choice affects a variety of people. It’s not often where one can see people mistakenly communicated a choice too broadly. On the other hand, I’ve seen countless examples of failing to let key people know what happened.

Don’t forget to publicly recognize everyone involved. Small tokens of appreciation – a team t-shirt, a team photo- are important symbols of having participated in an important decision. It’s the small things that count, that can stand for grand gestures and show people what they need to build trust.

Once the decision is made, there’s one more thing you should do. You should convene the people involved and ask for their feedback on how well the decision was managed. What worked well? Also, how could we manage it better next time around? This feedback may seem unnecessary – but believe me, you will glean things that can help you improve all your future decision processes.

In Chapter 4 of Leading at Light Speed, Eric Douglas provides examples and innovative ideas for managing decisions well. This leadership book reveals 10 quantum leaps to build trust, spark innovation, and create a high-performing organization.

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