5 Proven Steps to Mastering the Art of Effective Decision-Making

Jun 06, 2023

I've been a terrible decision-maker, always afraid to let go of any opportunity, which has caused me to waste so much time, energy, and miss out on countless possibilities.


As a trusted advisor to influential leaders, I've experienced firsthand the struggle they face in making decisions — in both their professional and personal lives.


In my practice, I often come across leaders who find it challenging to make decisions. They claim to want to keep all options open, but deep down, they fear making a mistake. Consequently, they end up exploring multiple avenues rather than committing to a decision. The consequences of this approach are significant.


However, when we add the element of organisational culture to the canvas, the art of decision-making becomes even more fascinating to study. In a high-trust organisation, mistakes are not seen as reasons for dismissal, but rather as opportunities for growth and learning. It's a culture that embraces experimentation, encourages calculated risks, and celebrates the valuable insights gained from both successes and failures. (I will delve deeper into this topic in a future newsletter)



Decision-Making Kills Productivity


Now, let me introduce you to something truly eye-opening. According to a remarkable McKinsey study on decision-making in today's fast-paced world, one standout finding is just how much time decision-making consumes. On average, slightly over half of the respondents report spending more than 30 percent of their working time on decision-making, with more than a quarter dedicating the majority of their time to making decisions. As seniority increases, so does the proportion of time spent on decision-making, with 14 percent of C-suite respondents indicating they spend over 70 percent of their time making decisions.


But here's the kicker: despite investing such a significant amount of time, many respondents feel that this time is not well spent. Shockingly, the study revealed that, on average, 61 percent of the respondents believe that most of their decision-making time is used ineffectively. Even among C-level executives, 57 percent share the same sentiment.


These statistics paint a stark picture, don't they?



Decision-Making and Opportunity Costs


Take a moment to reflect on the concept of opportunity costs. What if more organisations created a high-trust culture that embraces failure as a learning opportunity? Imagine the outcomes and possibilities that would arise for you and your team.


Decision-making is the lifeblood that propels organizations forward. It demands courage, intuition, and, above all, a willingness to embrace risk. While the journey to success is filled with challenges and setbacks, exceptional leaders are those who recognize the value of taking risks, even when success rates are low.



Now, Picture This Scenario


You're on the verge of making a critical decision. Instead of relying on your intuition and past experiences, successes, and failures, you find yourself considering 6 options. Each option demands your time, effort, and energy, inadvertently causing other equally important tasks to slip through the cracks.


By doing this, you subconsciously assign each option a mere 17% success rate. But here's the truth: statistically, decisions only have a success rate of 17 percent. Out of every six choices made, only one tends to yield the desired outcome. These figures may seem daunting, yet they underscore a profound reality: leaders who shy away from taking risks severely limit their potential for growth and innovation.


Effective decision-making is a skill possessed by high-performing leaders. They trust their intuition, value their time and energy, and prioritise decisions that will drive their organisations forward.



Steps Towards Empowered Decision-Making


To unlock your decision-making potential and drive organisational growth, consider these five steps:

1.      Make time for reflection on the problem at hand.

2.      Draw upon your past experiences to inform your decision-making.

3.      Tap into your intuition.

4.      Have the courage to make bold decisions and learn from any mistakes along the way.

5.      Foster a fail-fast culture. Introduce a "hall of failure" where insights gained from mistakes are celebrated, ultimately leading to even better results. Don't conform to societal norms that dictate spending excessive energy exploring options that only offer a potential 17% success rate.


If you aspire to play a bigger game, it's time to elevate your current decision-making process.




It's time to break free from the fears and limiting beliefs that hold you back from making impactful decisions. Embrace your innate ability to make informed choices that drive your organization forward. Remember, your time, energy, and potential are too valuable to be wasted on indecision and the pursuit of perfection.


If you are serious about your career, I invite you to share your journey with me. Let me know how you're progressing, the obstacles you're overcoming, and the remarkable results you're achieving. Together, let's unlock your decision-making potential and create a future where extraordinary outcomes become the norm.



To Your Success. Camilla.



PS: If you're ready to experience a significant boost in your decision-making success, let's hop on a call. You and I for 20 minutes. Send me a note here.


PPS: Are you serious about elevating your career? Do you want to be the inspiring leader everyone wants to follow? If yes, lets hope on a call. Apply now. I have 3 private 1:1 slots open in June and don't know when I will offer this opportunity again. Every time I have stepped up my game, I have worked with mentors and coaches who play bigger games than me. Learning from people who have been there before you is the fastest way to personal growth and more success the effortless way. Let's talk.

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Lautruphøj 5-7
2750 Ballerup
CVR (VAT) DK30143485

Email: Reach out