There are thousands of people sitting in offices and cubicles today ready to act on corporate strategic plans, willing to invest time and energy in challenging new initiatives, wanting to "go for it" in an effort achieve aggressive goals but they're engaged instead in far less productive pursuits because they're waiting for someone in their organizations to make a decision.
In many organizations the process required to get a decision from a manager or executive is long, daunting, discouraging, often frustrating, and consequently--extremely expensive in lost time and underutilized resources. High stakes decisions should be approached with facts about the situation, clearly defined criteria, well-researched alternatives, and a process that balances risk and uncertainty, emotion and reason, deliberation and action.
But in many companies, even after the research is complete and the options have been carefully weighed fear, uncertainty, a need to control, and an overwhelming desire to protect oneself from the consequences of a decision stall and derail many well-intentioned plans and desperately needed changes. Unfortunately, many leaders fail to realize what psychologist William James noted over fifty years ago--"When you have to make a choice and don't make it, that in itself is a decision." James also believed that, "There is no more miserable human being than one in whom nothing is habitual but indecision."
Leading others through complex and frequently changing situations requires deliberation and diligence in choosing a course. Wise leaders understand that delaying a decision is a decision. They recognize that protracted indecision is a choice--it's choosing to do nothing.
What in your life, your company, your world could improve--today, if someone would just make a decision? If that decision is in your realm of responsibility, when will be the right time to decide?
Theodore Roosevelt offered this counsel to leaders: "In a moment of decision, the best thing you can do is the right thing to do. The worst thing you can do is nothing."