In Difficult Decisions, Eric wrote:
If morals are internally referenced, ethics are externally referenced, and role responsibilities are stakeholder informed, then the decision-making triangle can prompt the leader to look inward, look outward, and look around. Looking inward enables us to understand what each of us brings to a dilemma, how our early influences, our psychology, our inner voices, or our identities affect the way that we see and experience the inputs to a decision. Looking outward tells us what the world (or, at least, our broader operating context) has to say about them, and looking around tells us what our key stakeholders might think. Those three directions cover much of our decision-making ecosystem.

Ideally, life would be neat and tidy and all difficult decisions could be answered using this framework. But that’s not the case.

Even when this framework doesn’t point to a clear answer, the triangle is still useful. It forces us to consider a broad range of stakeholders, challenges us on the depth of our self-awareness, and provides insights, empathy, and a potential roadmap on how to communicate your decision knowing some of the recipients will view you as the villain.

Now What?
Rather than wait for the next difficult decision to land in your lap, go back to a difficult decision you made in the past and run it through these three steps. Ask yourself:
• I properly identify the question I needed to answer?

• Was I clear in communicating the role my input givers played in my decision-making process?

• What new insights popped out using the triangle framework that I didn’t consider when I originally made the decision?

• Did my actual decision align with the decision I would have made using the triangle framework?

• Knowing what I know now from using the triangle framework, how could I have done a better job communicating the original decision?

• Am I dialed in on my moral compass, my understanding of the ethical environment I operate in, and am I clear on my role responsibilities? If not, what do I need to do to gain this understanding?

You can “practice” revisiting past decisions as a way to improve your skill in making difficult decisions. And you’re going to need that skill.

With polarization, politicization, and culture (and real) wars all around us, all signs point toward it becoming harder to be an excellent leader.

Steve Sanduski, CFP, is a financial advisor business coach, the co-founder of ROL Advisor, a discovery process technology system, a New York Times bestselling author, and host of the Between Now and Success podcast.

First « 1 2 3 » Next