Anyone in a leadership position can expect to find himself/herself making a substantial amount of critical decisions on a regular basis. Decisiveness is one of the most sought after qualities in any leader. In order to make an effective decision there is a wide array of factors that a leader should consider. Some are specific to the particular decision such as the basic facts and figures. However, there are many influencing factors whenever a critical decision is on the horizon.

A lack of information is seriously disadvantageous when making a decision. Making a less informed decision in time sensitive cases is as common as it is grave. The leader must ensure that they are equipped with all the necessary information required to make a well informed decision. This also coincides with another major problem that arises when a major business decision is to be made; a lack of inclusion of stakeholders or related personnel – especially in time sensitive cases. Yet the stakeholders who are directly affected by a decision are in a better position to see the repercussions that the decision will create. It is always a good idea to pause and involve all related personnel in the decision making process. Time will actually be saved and a grave error averted.

The emotional quotient is also a viable factor that affects the decision-making process. A perfectly rational decision can look unfit for the given situation when emotion is clouding the judgment of the decision maker. It is better to postpone the decision when you are emotionally charged. What separates great leaders from others is that they have the emotional intelligence to realize this. Great leaders know when their emotional investment in a particular decision goes beyond a certain point. Once all the possible positive and negative impacts that our decision could have are fully under your grasp, then the decision should be made.

After the decision is made, the outcome is dependent on much more than just the objective correctness of the decision. The effectiveness of any decision lies in proper communication and implementation. Great leaders capture, track and communicate the decision making and implementation process to a large degree. As the decision travels down the organizational hierarchy, it is difficult to maintain the essence behind the decision. And if the objectives behind the decision are not clear, it loses its effectiveness. Therefore, following up on the implementation of the decision is an essential process that leaders should always implement.

The results of any particular decision should be monitored to assess repercussions – positive and negative. Great leaders are constantly looking to improve themselves, others, and the organization. Monitoring provides a window to reflect on whether the intended outcomes are achieved. Regardless, it should be considered as an opportunity to learn and correct course. This not only ensures beneficial outcomes, but actually improves your ability to make decisions in the future.