Four Truths About Making the Toughest Leadership Decisions

“It’s less important to have unanimity than it is to be making the right decisions and doing the right thing, even though at the outset it may seem lonesome.”

~ Secretary Donald Rumsfeld

Four Truths About Making the Toughest Leadership Decisions

By Neil Ducoff

    1. The outcome you fear most is rarely as bad you imagined.  The simple process of working through a tough decision prepares you for most of the stuff you dread – if that stuff occurs at all.
    2. Avoiding the tough decisions can be pure agony.  The longer you wait, the more stressful it gets.  The longer you wait, the more difficult the solution or change.
    3. Avoid the tough decision entirely and you’ll get to personally meet those lions and tigers and bears.  Tough decisions are easy to obsess over.  You get bogged down in the “what if” mode.  Even if your worst fear is that you’ll lose everything, making tough decisions is your responsibility.
    4. Total commitment is non-negotiable.  You must be committed to seeing through the implementation of your tough decisions.  You must be committed to adjusting course when necessary to ensure the intended destination is reached (p. 31-32).

From:  Ducoff, N. (2012).  Wake up!: inspiring and challenging strategies on what it takes to be a no-compromise leader.  Centerbrook, CT:  Strategies.

Reprinted with permission from the OSU Leadership Center, Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 43210, (614) 292-3114,

Coaching Call To Action

Will you help others learn from your experiences on decision making?