The time for taking a decision is the hardest one, because it means the end of all of the efforts of every person involved in a process. The entire organization and its directors are depending on the decisions that are to be taken. That’s why decision making is a key issue for the organizational lifecycle. Taking a decision is an instant so important, that there are a lot of people (organization’s directors included) who are always trying to run away from taking important decisions, because they’re unable to handle the pressure or they are assaulted by huge doubts before taking a decision. Why? Simply put, because we all are afraid of making mistakes. But it’s not only an issue of fear, it’s also related to insecurity, to a significant lack of self-confidence.
There is no doubt: someone lacking in experience and skills tends to perceive clearly the risks and dangers of a decision, and in turn has troubles for acknowledging the hope, the benefits, the positive outcomes of a decision. This kind of people is more sensitive to the consequences of failure than the outcomes of success.
Normally, people taking decisions can gather plenty of good ideas, reflections good will, and even a powerful wish to succeed. However, what they’re often lacking is the special instinct from which confidence stems. That’s a special instinct which allows us to take a decision without being totally sure about it. Remember that the time to achieve a total security about a particular decision might be infinite.
It’s obvious that some important decisions can be very fearsome. Sooner or later, the time comes to answer “yes” or “no”. And when that time arrives, we cannot answer: “a bit of yes and a bit of no”. We’re not allowed to take forever to answer, either. We cannot answer: “let’s see, let’s see… maybe later, maybe next time”. The time comes when we have to take a decision, to choose between “yes” or “no”. We have to be very careful with indecision and also with excessive thinking and reflection. The outcome might be that a decision is not necessarily of a higher quality if we think too much about it. Maybe we’re taking too much time to take a decision… and, when we finally take it, the possibilities for success might have waned out a long time ago.
Is there any recipe for success?
This question provides a base to talk about the difference between error and professional fault. The professional fault is more serious than simple error, because we can amend or even learn from errors. But professional faults are something related to a person’s inner state, to his personality and his attitude. For example, taking disproportionate risks, or neglecting golden opportunities are instances of professional faults.
On its side, we can draw several valuable lessons from errors: first the moral lessons, and then the experience lesson. If we understand the causes of our errors and we can spot the instant when the error was made, our failure will not seem so bleak.
If you’re the type of person who is not willing to accept mistakes and is always waiting to be 100% sure about your decision’s success, your role will be easy, but you’re certainly not apt to be a leader, a boss, a director. Do not forget that the boss is the one who decides, assuming the risk alone, after having known the opinion of those around him. A leader bears the consequences of his own decision.
Once the decision is taken, comes the moment of truth, the moment of action, and therefore the moment of success or failure. The distance between success and failure is huge, and yet the actions that lead to victory or to defeat are often very similar.
The secret recipe for success is that we must stop thinking when we decide to make a decision. We must clearly distinguish between the time devoted to reflection and the time for action. Thus, there is no better method to fail than to continue doing both things at the same time (thinking and acting about the decision), because by so doing you will never cross the point of no return, and the decision will be questioned as soon as the first difficulties show up.
When a difficult or worrying decision has to be reached, as soon as all the data are available, give the matter your best thought and make your decision; having made the decision, do not revise it unless some new fact comes to your knowledge. Nothing is so exhausting as indecision, and nothing is so futile - Bertrand Russell
Finally, success is not only a matter of taking risks wisely. We also need to be able to carry out the actions related to the decision, with determination and willpower.