Leaders deal with problems all the time. That’s why we get the big bucks, right? Every so often though, we’ll face a very challenging, complicated, and maybe a “touchy” problem. You know, the ones that eat away at you and consume your energy, your sleep, your passion, and too many of your waking moments.  Or, maybe you know the right decision to make but you are hesitant to move ahead because of the messy fallout and repercussions it will trigger. Or maybe legal problems it may prompt.

So, you talk to your team, your mentor or coach, or some other trusted confidant for the best input available so you can make an informed decision.

In my prior life I used to travel a lot so I had hours and hours of quiet time on airplanes and in hotel rooms to think but even then I often was stumped because I kept coming back to the same top 2-3 solutions of any given problem. My thinking was too narrow and limited but I had not realized that at the time.

For long periods of time you may be able to wrestle with various solutions even though none seem workable. Usually, you have time to think things but eventually you have to make the call. How do you get yourself to that decision point? What do you do?

Well, there is a school of thought holding that when you are stumped you should think like your replacement and do what he/she would do. Maybe a little scary and a little weird but this mindset will get you out of yourself and out of the problem’s details allowing you to look at it from afar. This can help you objectively focus on solutions that move the ball forward.

One other suggestion, one I used extensively as the CEO of a for profit organization with 30o employees, is to ask yourself “What is best for the organization and its clients?

This helped me gain clarity on right vs wrong and how to set priorities. Being true to yourself with these two suggestions should help you when you get to the point of a decision needing to be made.

One last thought is to review your organization’s Mission, Vision, Values, and Strategic Plan. Those documents should be very helpful in your efforts to make the right call,

How do you bring yourself to finally making tough decisions? I’d like to hear from you…Please share this with your connections and let see how others move from thinking to executing.