One of the best ways to find inspiration for improving your leadership skills is to look outside your industry. In fact, some of the most relatable examples of great leadership come from industries that experience the competing pressures of time, costs, relationships, and established protocols.
Take construction, for example. In this industry, job completion speed and materials cost are the main factors. Because of this, maximizing efficiency and eliminating waste both go a long way towards making the project successful. And the risk of operating outside of proven protocols can be very costly.
The same thing can be said for leadership. When faced with an important decision, there isn’t an endless amount of time to decide on a course of action. And yet, if you are not careful in evaluating the problem, don’t include key players in the examination, or subscribe to the “ready-fire-aim” method of decision-making, you may incur unanticipated costs and delays that can ultimately sink your project.
What follows, in most cases, is a loss of trust by your own team. That’s why it’s so crucial for leaders such as yourself to always measure twice and cut once. By measuring twice, we mean referencing your culture and systems to help you make the right decision every time.
Great Organizations Have Great Culture and Great Systems
There are companies that seem to get it right all the time.
In these organizations, there is very close adherence to a set of operating norms and values that directly support both the leaders and the team members in their work. Many use a matrix or protocol for gathering information and input for important decisions in a very timely manner. They also do well at communicating what the decision was and why that particular decision was chosen.
What they avoid doing at all costs is reinventing the wheel each time an important decision is to be made. They also make a regular practice of including those who might have valuable input on the next step. These organizations don’t take shortcuts with integrity or process. They simply become hyper-efficient in moving the decision-making along while double-checking their processes simultaneously.
One of the worst phrases one can hear on a construction site is, “I cut this board twice…and it’s still too short.”
This means that one mistake was compounded by another, resulting in a significant loss of time and a complete waste of materials. The moral of this tale is that protocols to ensure efficiency and quality can help you make decisions both quickly and carefully to move toward a positive outcome.
Repeated Mistakes Have Real Costs
People choose to follow leaders that are able to ensure the success and well-being of those they lead. Teams lose trust in leaders who repeatedly make poor decisions that negatively impact them. Knowing that there are solid systems and protocols bolstered by a positive internal culture ensures a team can trust in the company and the leader.
By measuring twice and cutting once when making decisions that impact others, you will give yourself the very best opportunity to bring about a positive outcome for your team. Having solid protocols for decision-making and a trusting culture to support those decisions will only improve your organization.
Want to dive deeper into improving your leadership skills? Get tactical tips by downloading our free resource: The Innovative Leader’s Guide to Transforming Company Culture…Starting with Yourself
Tim, with his extensive background in education and management, is a great part of our Fired Up! team dedicated to inspiring teams and leaders. At Fired Up!, our work is dedicated to harnessing the power of culture to equip leaders, build amazing teams, and align operation practices to engage organizations and drive breakthrough results.