At times when we’re unsure of which direction to head or what action to take, there’s a tendency to freeze up, fearing that we might make the wrong decision. However, to achieve success in business we need to learn to work against this perceived security of inaction, and train ourselves to make decisive choices.
Don’t be afraid to make a mistake
While we may be wary of taking a misstep if we make the wrong decision at work, studies and experts agree that in business, and perhaps life in general, inaction is worse than making a mistake. By hesitantly sitting around and dwelling on potential outcomes, we run the risk of missing out on opportunities for success.
Waiting may feel safe, but it’s ultimately a dangerous position. While you sit and ponder, your competition is given ample opportunity to beat you to the punch. You also may miss out on a chance for innovations that often arise out of happy accidents. Not every approach or decision is going to work 100 percent of the time, but you’re never going to discover which ones do until you try them.
Successful companies reward proactive employees who are consistently striving for innovation and taking decisive action. Those in leadership positions can’t be everywhere at once, so they need to empower employees to make independent decisions to get to a solution that might not be perceived by those higher up the chain. In some cases employees are rewarded financially, but at the very least recognizing and encouraging creative thinking and decisive behavior is critical to creating a proactive and successful work environment.
Being decisive is essential to success in business, and proactive strategies should be encouraged at all levels of the company. Making a clear decision and executing it is the only way to find out if a strategy or plan is going to work. Innovations and improvements can only be made when action is taken, and quite often the most important discoveries are made when you risk making a mistake.
What ways have you found to reward decisiveness?