Shand Stringham/ MLLS 712-58 Decision Making and Problem Solving for Leaders April 24, 2013
The primary responsibility for a CEO, executive, or anyone in a leadership position is to make decisions. “Decision implies the end of deliberation and the beginning of action” (Buchanan & O’Connell p.1). Decisions are the basis for action plans, with the capability to construct a company full of promise and prosperity, or the cause of a company’s downfall and termination. To become an effective leader, one must become an effective decision maker. The two coincide and go hand in hand. A good leader understands that every situation is unique in its own right, and strives to maintain diversity and flexibility in their approach. Every decision made by leadership provides a platform for scrutiny, criticism, and analysis of the response from the decision made. Though risks are inherent, parties are often dissatisfied, and undesired outcomes occur from trial and error. Decision making is necessary and of high importance. Any environment that tends to suffer from a culture of indecision lacks productivity and eventually parishes due to the inability to adapt to change. The ideas which resonated the most throughout this course were: The Sense Response Cycle and Prepared Mind Skills of the leaders development internally, Lencioni’s model which displayed exceptional growth in team leadership responsibilities, and a combination of three decision making approaches (Rationale, Intuition, Creativity). These create the most effective ways to problem solve when making decisions in a leadership role.
Individual Development Preceding Influence
Leadership consists of one’s ability to influence team members to achieve one common objective. In order to attain this, a leader must first develop attributes and characteristics which make him effective in a group environment. Welter and Egmon’s Sense Response Cycle suggests there are four major reoccurring issues a leader must address internally in the role. The first is to “Sense” the environment. Environments are transmute and constantly changing. In order to be an effective leader one must be able to anticipate changes developing to help with efficient adaptation. The second reoccurring issue is to “Make Sense”. This aspect of the model gives the leader purpose and tailors decisions toward outlined objectives. It provides direction in operations with expectations on a broader scale. The third issue is to “Decide”. This is preformed in a course of action or inaction depending on the situation. The decision is based upon the leader making sense of the situation and electing to continue on a steady course of action, or wavering and altering due to unforeseen changes to the environment. Lastly, is to “Act”. This is the phase of acting and convincing others to act and taking advantage of potential opportunities by implantation of strategies. While the framework for internal preparation depicts the reality of leadership, there are five additional skills I feel must be developed and honed for successful leadership.
Specified Skills of a Leader
In the book “The Prepared Mind of a Leader”, Bill Welter and Jean Egmon suggest that there are eight skills a leader must possess in order to be successful. Though I was fascinated and intrigued by the book in its entirety, I elected to focus on five which I felt were the most pertinent and of extreme value to leadership and decision making. The first skill is “Observing”. This ability consists of preparing for the future, paying notice to small subtle details, for anticipation of larger alterations to the environment. Anais Nin stated, “We do not see things as they are; we see them as we are” (Welter & Egmon p. 44). Perception is objective in the realm of leadership. However, it is imperative to recognize patterns and pay attention to trends to help explain the logic and thought process...
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