Leadership is defined as a process by which a leader is able to assert influence over a group of people to achieve a pre-decided common goal. Decision making is a process involving a certain amount of deliberation and social action in order to choose from among a certain number of options when faced with a problem.
A good leader is able to assert his influence to empower and support people in order to think and act in the direction of accomplishing strategic goals. He/she is someone who has the ability to make decisions in the face of adversity and choose the best alternative even then. They have the courage to bear complete accountability of their decisions and actions even if they go wrong. They are able to accept their mistake in public and move on to the corrective course as soon as they realise the error.
It has been observed through research done in this area that people tend to value and respect such leaders a lot more. They associate and connect with such leaders who display high moral ground, integrity, honesty and authenticity and the ability to publicly acknowledge their own shortcomings. Such leaders are considered to be assets to the organization by all employees and are regarded highly for not adopting a defensive attitude towards organizational problems.
One of the key problems faced by organizations across the world is erroneous decision making. On a number of occasions, the leaders and senior managers take decisions that only solve the symptom and not the root problem causing the symptom. A number of times this is done knowingly, i.e. leaders know that they are just scratching the surface of the problem and not actually addressing the problem. The reason is often a lack of deep understanding and information to solve the problem, the lack of sufficient initiative to get to the root of the problem or simply the lack of good decision-making skills.
In any case, this is a serious problem plaguing a large number of organizations. In fact, scholars agree that any organization which is faced by such negative decision making from its leadership and strategic management team is likely to face continuous failure and its people will be left wondering about the actual cause of the problem. This would, in turn, have a negative influence on the overall efficiency and productivity of the people of the organization. The organization would become unproductive in the long run and people in the organization will have a way to break job performance protocol and never achieve the organizational goals.
One of the major challenges for organizations is to avoid the bad policy and inconsistent decision making. It is one of the leading causes of dissatisfaction among employees and their leaders in the current time. The incompetence of leaders and managers in discussing a problem statement and delivering a quality decision to solve the problem has caused many organizations to close down. This is the kind of power and influence that the decision making skills of leaders and managers can have on the people and organization.
In contrast, a good leader is one who has self-confidence and is able to invest time and energy to gather information and resources which will help in overcoming a problem. He/she has great analytical skills and can process the information in great detail, consider all the pros and cons and finally arrive at the most suitable decision.
People tend to have a preference and regard for such a leader with self-confidence. They get confused by leaders who are immersed in self-doubt and as such form a notion that such a leader would not be able to take requisite action nor would he/she ever command that respect. It is important for the people to know that their leader is a good decision maker and when the time comes to make a tricky decision this leader would consider the interest of all stakeholders before arriving at the final decision. Such strength in character and quality of decision making makes the followers intensely committed to their leaders.
A leader with good decision-making skills also fosters an environment of continued creativity and innovation in the organization and is able to propel his/her team towards excellence. An organization is a complex structure and a leader has to steer through this complex and dynamic web of activity through sound decision making. The leader may have to make tough decisions at the end but it is the quality of these decisions which is the hallmark of great leadership. For organizations which are looking to forge a path of excellence, it may be good advice to get online leadership certificate programs for professionals specifically focused on good decision-making skills.