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Role of a Leader in Decision Making Essay

Role of a Leader in Decision Making
Sep 30, 2013

Agenda

Part I: Understanding Bridges

Part II: Crossing & Building Bridges
Part III: Working Bridges
Part IV: Crossing Bridges – Well!
Q&A

Part I: Understanding Bridges

The image highlights a bridge between the two points of reference. The land on the left symbolizes an ending and the land on the right symbolizes a new beginning. Therefore a need or opportunity for a decision to be made. Arriving on the right, it is the opportunity and reward that are the desired results of a successful decision. The bridge is suspended over moving water, symbolic of risk, uncertainty, and opportunity to move. Arriving on the right, it is the opportunity and reward that are the desired results of a successful decision.

An Overview of Decision Making and Decisions

Decision making can be regarded as the process resulting in the selection of a course of action among several alternative scenarios. Every decision making process produces a final choice. The output can be an action or an opinion of choice.

An Overview of Decisions

Rational Decision Making
A process for making logically sound decisions.
Consists of a structured four-step sequence:
• Identifying the problem
• Generating alternative solutions
• Selecting a solution
• Implementing and evaluating the solution

Strategic/Normative Decision Making, or strategic planning,
Describes the process of creating mission and objectives and deciding upon the courses of action that should be pursued to achieve those goals.
Decision making is characterized by
• Limited information processing
• Use of rules of thumb or shortcuts
• Satisficing

What is a Leader?
A leader is a person who has a vision, a drive and a commitment to achieve that vision, and the skills to make it happen.

What do they say about decision making?
The most difficult thing is the decision to act, the rest is merely tenacity. The fears are paper tigers. You can do anything you decide to do. You can act to change and control your life; and the procedure, the process is its own reward. ― Amelia Earhart

Part II: Crossing & Building Bridges

The image highlights a person travelling from what was to what will be. For our purposes, this is a leader charged with making a decision that will successfully move the organization from what has ended to a new beginning.

With the moving waters below, the leader may be either accelerated or threatened by the decisionmaking process or journey. The decision-making process is often collaborative.

The Process of Decision-Making

Following are the important steps of the decision making process. Each step may be supported by different tools and techniques.

Values and Decision-Making

The standard way of thinking about decisions is backwards, says Ralph Keeney: people focus first on identifying alternatives rather than values.

A problem arises and people react, placing the emphasis on mechanics and fixed choices instead of on the objectives that give decision-making its meaning. A leader with value analysis can yield a full range of alternatives, thus converting decision problems into opportunities. This approach can be used to uncover hidden objectives, to direct the collection of information, to improve communication, to facilitate collective decision-making, and to guide strategic thinking.

Leader Role – Professional Facilitator

The following points are some of the leaders role for effective decision making: 1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
9.
10.

Establish clarity on the decision making model
Lead the group
Follow the group
Manage the process and the content
Believe in the capabilities your team
Manage participation
Review Pros and Cons
Define the decision making criteria
Make a decision
Review and agree to a communication plan

Part III: Working Bridges

The image highlights multiple people involved in the decision-making process. The image highlights a structure surrounding and supporting the decision-making process and emphasizing the organizational nature and impact of the decisions. The windows remind us that internal factors in an organization can be affected by external factors, and visa versa.

Successful decisions are seldom made without considering external factors.

Factors Impacting Leadership and DecisionMaking
Whenever we are involved in making decisions a number of factors can affect the process we follow and ultimately the decision we make.

We can organize the factors affecting decision making into three major groups: • Perception Issues
• Organizational Issues
• Environmental Issues

Leadership Styles

Analytical Style: (High risk/People oriented)
Reflective, moderate decision making speed.

Directive Style: (High risk/Task oriented)
Practical, systematic, slow decision making

Analytical

Conceptual

speed.

Conceptual Style: (Low risk/People oriented)
May lack practicality, or seem hard to

Consistent

implement.

Behavioral Style: (Low risk/Task oriented)
Less decisive, decisions that avoid conflict but
do not solve the problem.

Consistent Style: (Balance of risk and
tasks/people).

Directive

Behavioral

Part IV: Crossing Bridges – Well!

The image highlights that the leader of the decision-making process has successfully moved the organization from what has ended to a new beginning.
The leader carried the organization and its many parts across the
decision-making. This is indeed a time to celebrate!

Great Leaders are Great Decision-Makers

Leaders often have to make challenging decisions.
Great leaders understand how to balance emotion with reason and make decisions that positively impact themselves, their employees, their customers and stakeholders, and their organizations.
Making good decisions in difficult situations is no small feat because these types of decisions involve change, uncertainty, anxiety, stress, and sometimes the unfavorable reactions of others.
Great leaders also know when to move quickly and proceed with the available information, versus when to take more time and gather additional information.

Resources

Harrison, E. Frank. 1999. The Managerial Decision-Making Process. 5th ed. Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin.

Book: Role of the Leader in Decision-Making


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