Popular culture suggests leaders can create meaningful change from snap decisions and gut reactions. While it is true that great leaders often need to think on their feet, leadership is about far more than reacting effectively. 

Great leadership includes preparation. 

Exceptional leadership that creates lasting positive effects comes from a commitment to core principles. It’s a process that takes time, because leaders understand the consequences of decisions that extend well beyond the pressing demands of the moment.  

How Meaningful Decisions Are Made

Great leaders weigh the allocation of time and resources as investments, not mere expenditures. They apply their insight to research and analysis of perceived trends so they are always prepared.

Effective leaders consider in-depth questions like these before moving toward a new venture. 

  • What effects will this have on the capacity of the organization in the near and long-term? 
  • Has this decision positioned the entity well for its next move or has this course of action “painted us into a corner”?  
  • When the return on this course of action has been realized, what is the perception of the brand and the trust that customers will have in our company?

Each of these questions leads to a decision-making process that is thought out, carefully considered, and prudent. The results are successes rooted in careful examination of all the factors at play. In the end, leaders who take this approach are far more likely to create long-term success for their organization. 

Quick and Easy vs. Quality and Lasting

Consider the value of brand loyalty. Companies like Campbell’s, Kraft, or Charmin have enjoyed far more success than one-time stock market winners. Even phenomenal success stories that appeared to come from nowhere like Amazon, Microsoft, Apple, Netflix, and Tesla are now trusted brands and industry standards.  

The ultimate reward for an organization is a path that leads to sustainable growth and positive change for its teams and its customers. 

As the next generation of leaders is being developed, putting the time in to reinforce the benefits of careful decision-making is critical. While it is possible to engineer quick returns by cutting corners, such success is rarely lasting.

Do It Right the First Time for Your Organization and Your Teams

Life lessons are often surprisingly applicable to the field of leadership. We all remember hearing, “Do it right the first time” as children. It’s a useful reminder that a task prepared for and performed well will have lasting results. 

Embracing preparation and the long view will lead your team to sustained success and away from the temptation of the quick and easy.

Ready to start transforming your company’s culture? Download our free resource to learn how: The Innovative Leader’s Guide to Transforming Company Culture.