As you read or watch the news on television, we often hear the talking head say that the “leader was struggling with a decision”. During an interview with a politician that may have been caught in scandal, they resigned only after they “struggled with this decision”. Leadership should not ever have to struggle with decisions that are character based.
When you have firm principles decisions can be made much easier. As leaders we are constantly presented with data, or events. Leaders then need to make decisions based on these facts. How do you hit the easy button? It is simple, run it through your filter of values, missions, and vision statements.
Have you defined your guiding principles? These are the things that do not bend or break. When there is a conflict with one of them, your decision has already been made to do otherwise. If there are exceptions, then they are not guiding principles, they are more like suggestions (like a speed limit sign).
Our principles are developed around our individual ethics. I won’t be presumptuous and tell you what your principles should be, but I will provide you with my mission statement as a professional. I originally wrote this out as a sales professional, and now incorporate it in all of my leadership training and development courses. Below is what I originally called the definition of a sales professional in my book PROFITS, Your Seven Letters to Success.
- Is a PEAK PERFORMER who has the abilities and understands the importance to PLAN and PREPARE
- Understands and acknowledges their RESPONSIBILITIES to their organization and customers, and can RETAIN their business, while maintaining RESPECT with their clients, companies, and most importantly themselves
- Takes OWNERSHIP and are ORGANIZED
- Maintains a FOCUS on their duties and goals
- Has a character built on INTEGRITY and they have personal INITIATIVE
- Has the ability and TRUST to work in a TEAM environment
- Provides all this to their internal and external customers with the utmost SINCERITY
During any discussion or decision-making opportunity, this is my filter. This is a very simple tool, and it can easily be checked in your organization as well. Did your sales team do the right thing with that customer? Is this type of accounting practice too vague? Are you sincere with that compliment you gave the stock boy? Will your work-life balance be affected?
If a decision is made that will create a level of mistrust, or questionable integrity, then the decision is simple. If I make a decision that does not allow me to focus, or plan & prepare like I should, then its an easy decision. This mission statement is wrapped around my ethical standards and that is one thing that no one can ever question when dealing with me. I don’t feel bad about decisions, even the ones that may cost me money, if I made those decisions based on the above.
As Mark Twain is credited for saying; “It is never the wrong time, to do the right thing”, If you develop your personal and company’s value statement, then making decisions is like hitting the easy button!
The Kole Performance Group is an executive coaching firm, focused on leadership and sales development. Leadership is Influence, nothing more, nothing less (John Maxwell), and as a John Maxwell certified coach, speaker, and trainer, we focus on helping you develop your mission statement for life. As a Ziglar Certified trainer, we also help you become a “better you”, offering personal development programs, coaching, and training.