What drives your decision-making process – and how do you engage the rest of your organization to be fully on board?
One of our associates was leading a planning session with the C-Suite of a television production company. Early in the session, we asked everyone to write down their growth goals for the coming year. We collected their index cards which were all in the 6 – 9% range except for one – which said 50%! When we asked who and why the Chief Sales Officer got up and made an impassioned case to the entire team. She pointed out they had proven their skills and ability to deliver better-than-expected results, and it was time to step up their game. Instead of pitching ideas to bottom-feeding cable networks, she felt they were ready to pitch better-paying, first-tier clients. She implored them to develop a strategic planning process aimed at those bigger clients.
In a previous blog on Leadership Decision Making, we talked about how a great leadership vision infuses an organization with enthusiasm, direction, and purpose. In this case, the leadership vision came from a leader who was not the CEO — but the result was the same. She lit up the room and the session, so we quickly shifted the decision-making process. We moved from the original objective to a strategic planning process for bigger and better clients. Her passion, purpose, and ability to communicate and influence changed the trajectory of everyone’s thinking.
How to Make Better Leadership Decisions
Too often leaders at every level are guilty of assuming the rest of our organization knows what we want and is aligned with our thinking. Too many leaders avoid meaningful discussions and jump into action assuming everyone is with us. We say things like, “Great minds think alike,” or “We know where we’re going.”
In truth, the only way to really know is to work together in a strategic planning process to ensure you identify and agree on your Purpose, Vision, and Mission. From there, you have a much smarter and faster foundation for building meaningful goals and strategies. Then you’ve got a decision-making process that includes and aligns your entire organization – and is far more likely to produce the results you all really want.
Executive Leadership is Inclusive
When the CSO made her pitch, there were no recriminations, objections, turf wars, or resentments. The company ran these strategic planning process sessions four times a year — and they were all in it together. The alignment was swift, the goals were clear and they hashed out possible strategies in far less time than ever before. The decision-making process included everyone – and everyone rallied to the cause!