Successful people — people who get things done and not just kiss asses — have on thing in common: they can make decisions.
You’d think it would be leadership or emotional intelligence or even financial acumen.
But it’s not.
It all comes down to getting things done. And if you want to get things done, you have to make decisions.
This was made obviously plain by some conversations with Danny Fleming, an executive with long experience in the financial world. “I became successful,” he told me, “because I could make the decision.” It might not turn out to be the best decision but making one, picking a direction to go in, choosing a response, was always better than dithering about what to do. You can’t wait for all of the information to come in, he says. You have to get to action.”
And when that turns out to be wrong?
“Make a new decision.”
I’ve been writing about people who place decision-making front and center in their theory of work, from Gary Klein (Sources of Power: How People Make Decisions, naturalistic decision making) to Warren Kinston (Th3EL, Strengthening the Management Culture) to Michael Raynor (The Strategy Paradox, The Three Rules: How Exceptional Companies Think). Each one makes a point of describing a piece of how successful action takes place, how you get things done.
Success with making a decision, just like Danny says.
Let’s spend some time over the next week seeing why.
Image credit: Manhattan Bridge under construction, 1909. Via U.S. Library of Congress.