Are you swayed by the crowd?

Photo courtesy of Karen_O’D (Creative Commons)

It is tempting as a leader to make choices and decisions based on what your team, clients or customers want most. But that’s not always what is best for your company or organization.

Whether you are considering changing your hours, altering your process, or adding a new product line, it is important to that you evaluate all of your options instead of listening to the loudest and most urgent voices. The following steps may help you determine the best path in those situations:

  • Input from different areas – Be sure to talk not to just the most vocal group wanting the change, but talk to each department or segment affected. Find out how the change will impact their area, whether that is an increase in phone calls or changes in how they will have to process. Ask a lot of questions!
  • Consider all sides – Look at pros and cons for each option, and consider not just the immediate need, but what is currently working and what is frustrating those affected.
  • Look at long term – Don’t just look for a quick fix. Be sure to look at long term affects, including cycles or seasons, and how the change will play out over months or years.
  • Don’t be influenced by personalities – Remember that it’s business, not personal, so don’t let the characters involved be part of your decision.
  • Take your time – Actually, take the time appropriate to the magnitude of the decision.  Don’t be rushed or drag your feet.

As a leader, you must be intentional in making those big decisions. While it is tempting to go with the requests of the majority, consideration must be given to all sides of the issue and all parties involved. Yes, change is difficult, but changing back is harder!

What decision have you made because of the crowd that you regretted later?