Being a great leader isn’t easy, but almost anyone can do a good job if they put in the time and effort. What really sets outstanding leaders apart from average leadership is the decisions that are made when tough situations come up. By considering these five common decisions most leaders will have to make at some point in their career, you’ll be better equipped to make them when they inevitably come up.
1) Going in a different direction
While most professionals go into a project believing it will be a success, sometimes it doesn’t turn out the way you planned. Though this doesn’t automatically mean giving up, at some point, you’ll need to decide whether to continue on the path you’re on or switch directions. Going in a new direction with your business can be daunting; though you’ve done your market research, there are no guarantees.
It’s a good idea to consult your team for their input, but at the end of the day it’s your decision. Trust in your experience and knowledge, and make the risky decision to change things up if your gut and your head tell you it’s the right move.
2) Closing locations
The viability of retail and office space has declined in recent years, with many companies deciding to switch to remote work and e-commerce stores. Alternatively, you may find that putting items in storage or relocating your headquarters will boost sales and make more room in your budget.
To make this decision, crunch the numbers and double and triple check these values. If the cost savings are substantial, it may be worth making these monumental changes.
3) Letting staff go
When thinking about making a tough decision, it’s important to think about more than just the financial impact. A company’s values and integrity often indirectly contribute to the success of a business, and how you treat your staff is one of them.
Choosing to let staff go is never easy. Before deciding to do so, make sure you’ve considered all other options. Support your staff as much as you can, but if there’s no way around it, make the difficult decision to let them go.
4) Knowing when to be a boss rather than a friend
Being well-liked by your staff is always a good thing. They’ll respect you, feel more comfortable around you, and be more motivated to act in the interest of the company. However, sometimes you’ll have to make a decision that you know will upset someone.
To mitigate this, it’s important to be as transparent as possible with your team. Unfortunately, this isn’t always possible, and you’ll have to risk upsetting an employee to do what you believe is right for the company.
5) Taking a step back
As a leader, your name will often be associated with the work of your team. It can be tempting to micromanage the work of your employees to ensure that everything is being done to your standards, but a great leader knows when to step back.
Give your team the proper training and tools to succeed at what they do, and let them come to you when they need a helping hand.