How can you know you are making the right decision as a leader?
Every organization and every leader faces difficult decisions. How can you know you are making the right decision? Is it the right decision for everyone involved, even if it may cost someone his job and a family’s main source of income? Certainly there are many factors which come into play with each and every situation. Are there any hard and fast rules, any guidelines to assist an organization or individual in making these difficult decisions.
I cannot say yes to the hard and fast rules, but I certainly suggest there are guidelines for this purpose. Whether it is a decision in the personal life of a single adult, a family decision, or any size organization there are three questions I recommend that can help you make any decision regardless of the seeming difficulty. Let’s look at them with two scenarios in mind. (Church leaders be certain to read to the end)
Scenario A: Due to a prolonged downturn in the economy and lack of funding a customer service organization’s leaders decide they should downsize their number of employees.
Scenario B: A 23 year old single college graduate has decided she wants a more reliable car. She has found one she likes and will need to finance it to purchase the car. The finance plan could stretch her budget to its limit.
1. What is the very best that can happen to our organization (family, personal life) if we make this decision?
Scenario A: Our finances will stabilize. We will show a larger profit and continue business as usual, preferably with growth.
Scenario B: The young lady will have a reliable, nice looking car to sport around in and worry-free from maintenance and breakdowns.
2. What is the absolute worst that can happen if we follow through with this decision?
Scenario A: Customer service will plummet. We could lose a portion of our customer base. Income will not match the needed budget throwing the organization into a grasping for survival mode or even bankruptcy. Also, the families affected will lose income, insurance, and other benefits. Some could lose their houses and other necessities.
Scenario B: The young lady could lose the car by accident, theft, or from loss of income. Especially if it is the latter (loss of income) not only could she lose the car and her income, but her credit could be damaged as well.
3. Can we live and continue to operate with the answer to question number two?
Scenario A: Further loss of income and smaller number of customer service representatives will certainly bring damage to the organization and lead to its demise.
Scenario B: You decide.
While we always want to look at life with rose colored glasses and see the absolute best in all situations, if we will pause long enough to ask and sincerely answer these three questions, we can make better, more informed decisions.
I used the illustrations above to demonstrate these questions work in differing areas of life. Think of them through the eyes of the church or your particular organization. Certainly we can see the church of North America today in Scenario A above. We realize the loss of income from a few years ago and dwindling attendance and we create excuses and pass the blame to outside sources (the economy). Are our decisions based on one sided thoughts, attempting to draw a biblical correlation? Nehemiah wept, prayed, and fasted. Afterwards he took time to gain an objective perspective from every angle, first from the inside out, then from the outside in. (Nehemiah chapters 1&2)
We can also see the church in Scenario B. We want the next shiny, new idea that we heard someone else talking about. But have we counted the cost for our particular ministry?
Learn to use these three questions in making decisions in your life and your ministry. Seek God’s guidance and He will lead you to making the ultimate “best” decisions.
For more information on this topic contact George Yates and visit SonC.A.R.E. Ministries on the web. You can also find more on this subject in Reaching the Summit: Avoiding and Reversing Decline in the Church.