One of the major responsibilities of potential leaders is creating and maintaining organizational characteristics which encourage collective efforts. Strategic leadership is all about decision making. Decision making is basically the mental process that results to selection of an action or a choice among several others. Making sound decision can be quite a hard task and sometimes impossible but can be very beneficial if well handled resulting to life-time benefits. To take the first position in business, one must be able to make sound decisions that might enable him or her to devise new strategies in marketing, providing solutions to emerging problems and boosting production in order to outshine competitors. Unwise decision making, on the other hand, acts as a stumbling block which contributes to stagnation and other poignant consequences that wreck the business. This document discusses the significance of sound decision making in relation to strategic leadership pinpointing specific areas that decision making is required in proper leadership. It additionally explains how well strategic leaders can embrace the idea to flourish in their businesses.
Importance of Decision Making
There are so many advantages associated with sound decision making. To start with, sound decision making leads to better utilization of resources enabling an organization to make good use of the available assets no matter how little they are and to make profit. This consequently enables the organization to minimize cost and increase profit (Sims, 1994). Another advantage is that it helps the entire organization to face and handle new challenges and problems. There are problems that might maim the business if no immediate answers are provided. This calls for an immediate answer and hastiness in devising strategies to solve the problem which consequently requires a leader with sound decision making skills (Sims, 1994). With the current emergence of many ailments, some of which have not been handled before, it is an obligation that a leader in diagnostic laboratory be equipped with fast and sound decision making skills (Maritz, Pretorius, & Plant, 2011).
Sound decision making also boosts the business enabling it to realize its preset goals through better utilization of resources and devising strategic ways of dealing with challenges facing the organization (Dellve & Wikström, 2009). There is also increased efficiency which refers to the relation between cost and profits. Efficiency is encountered when the cost of production is low and the returns are high and vice versa. Another advantage of sound decision making is that it encourages innovation as it helps in developing new products, ideas and processes which become a competitive advantage to the company (Maak, 2007). At my workplace, for example, after clients realized that our center offers a solution to virtually all problems, they owed their loyalty to it and help us in advertising our products. Sound decision making also motivates employees as they are inspired to execute rational decisions. When such decisions are implemented, high incomes are earned, new simpler ways are devised to fix problems and permanent ways of solving problems are acquired which make the working environment favorable (Petrick & John, 2010).
Skills Necessary for Sound Decision Making
There are so many people who plan and think in companies but only very few among them have the capacity to make cognitive processes executable. This is barely the sole reason that differentiates mere managers from successful leaders (Akbar & Zaman, 2011). The capacity to come up with sound decisions is a process that requires some intellectual skills from the person involved. The very first and perhaps the most crucial component required in decision making is self-confidence. If one is confident in his mental capacities and how he or she perceives the world, there are very little challenges, if any, that the person will encounter in analyzing and coming up with a decision; he or she will be willing to stand for it for better and for worse (Sarwat, Hayat, & Quresh, 2011).
The above element leads to the second component: being analytical. Being analytical enables one to systematically fragment a situation and survey individuals’ sections and make a thorough overview. This enables one not only to identify the areas that could be threatened by challenges but to devise new and permanent ways of dealing with the problem. The third component is the ability to think critically. Critical thinking enables a person to analyze and evaluate an issue at hand deeply before taking an action (Phapruke, 2011). One must also be able to understand the importance of research and have a capacity to manage conflict within oneself and one’s belief structure, as well as with and among other people. One must be able to detect issues as they emerge to prevent them from getting into higher and destructive levels that might maim the business. These elements support individual development by facilitating self-awareness, acquisition of skills and improving competence (Eddy & Sears, 2012).
Risk-Taking and Authority in Decision Making
One may wish he or she had an assistant to take blame of the parties expecting answers from a particular project, especially when making a decision gets tough. Since one is deemed a good leader depending on the decisions that he or she makes, it is important for any leader to ascertain that he or she has three very crucial aspects that will enable him or her to make a sound decision. Firstly, a leader should know that he or she has the authority to make the right decision; secondly, one should be aware that his or her decisions are ethical; and thirdly, one should ensure that he or she undergoes a process of seven steps. The three phases have currently been so ingrained in leaders who make sound decisions to the extent that they do not even think about them consciously when making decisions (Wisma & Naimi, 2011).
Leaders should know how much authority they have in making decisions as prescribed by the corporate culture. This defines when, how and where a leader should make a decision. Some organizations prescribe that decision making be more of a centralized process: the bigger the effect of the decision, the more probable it will be reserved for a person in the senior position. Depending on one’s power, he or she might be able to know what kind of decisions he or she can make. Since personality type might also influence the nature of the decision made, one should adapt to ensure that decisions he or she makes can be implemented within the entire group (Phipps, 2012).
In ethical decision making every manager starts with a selection to base his or her judgments on ethical principles. At the core of making sound and ethical decisions, two principles come in handy: one has power to do and say whatever he or she wants, and everyone is responsible for the consequences of his or her actions. This being the case, one ought to embrace six values to reinforce sound decision-making: trustworthiness, responsibility, respect, fairness, concern and self-devotion (Krahnke & Wanasika, 2011).
Leaders should realize that though they might be lacking power to do whatever they want, they still have power to make decisions on what they want to achieve with what they have. If for example there is a constraint on cash in the laboratory, the manager should figure out how the less money might be used and get what is required (Puffer & McCathy, 2008). Seven steps that a leader ought to embrace include: firstly, identifying objectives clearly. The leader should then brainstorm other ways that can make the organization achieve the objectives. Later, the leader should evaluate how well each choice suits the objective, choose the best, test the selected choice, execute the decision and finally, review the results.
As earlier mentioned, decision making entails the mental process that results to selection of an action or a choice among several others. To become a strategic leader, it is expected that one will make sound decisions concerning certain matters within an organization. Bearing in mind the fact that sound decision making is a difficult task, the process requires critical thinking so as to select the best option from a number of available alternatives as making the right decision is normally associated with success. It can therefore be generally inferred that decision making means everything. When right decisions are made, all that is desired is acquired but when unwise or incompetent decisions are made, everything is lost. It is this entity that differentiates between successful and unsuccessful leaders.