High-Performing Leaders are Decisive and Action-Oriented

Time is the most valuable commodity we have available to us, and the way we use it plays a massive role in how our futures unfold. One of the greatest investments we could ever make when aspiring to be a high-performing leader is to become decisive, and action-oriented.

If you’re looking to pursue big organisational wins, then it may be beneficial to take a step back from the visual of the bigger picture, or the long-term goal and ask if you’re truly making the present moment work for you.

Procrastination is the thief of opportunity.

Our days are full of golden decision-making opportunities, and for some, being decisive and taking action has become a superpower. For many others though, there is the very real challenge of procrastination that creeps up when action needs to be taken or a decision needs to be made. This only compounds challenges and robs us of potential.

Mark Twain wrote, “The secret to getting ahead, is getting started.” This quote is rich with truth but also indicates that we have a history of difficulties with taking action. Today we’re mindful of the real cost of procrastination, yet we often find ourselves physically frozen while consciously aware that work needs to be done. Our roles and industries have become so competitive, and to get ahead, we need to become proactive leaders.

So, what’s holding us back from acting now?

Procrastination is not laziness, there are scientific reasons for this phenomenon. One of the main causes is a form of “self-preservation” by our subconscious mind. The theory is that we hold off on what needs to be done because of an unconscious fear that we may come across distressing and unmanageable issues or that we’ll fail to achieve the result we desire. This can be debilitating, especially with the uncertainty and rapid rate of change occurring in today’s fast-paced world, where many decisions need to be made to remain agile.

High-performing leaders are willing to fail to achieve success.

The fear of failure is natural but is often made so much worse by statements like, “failure is not an option.” Business cultures that embrace failure as feedback and encourage the process of learning through mistakes take the pressure off decision-making and develop more confident, action-oriented individuals.

As a leader, having the right mindset is critical. If we’re saddled with a fixed mindset rather than a growth mindset, our perfectionist outlook may add unnecessary anxiety to decision-making for us and for our teams.

One way to become more decisive and proactive can be learned by developing a growth mindset. This way of thinking allows us to accept the possibility that things might not work in our favour, but we’ll learn from it, improve our process, and try again. This could make it easier for us to make decisions. As leaders, we also need to support our employees by encouraging decision-making and giving constructive feedback on mistakes.

Coaching creates decisive action-oriented leaders.

Being decisive and embracing the power of now is a habit that can be developed through coaching. And when this habit of taking action cuts procrastination out of your daily life, you’ll go from coping to thriving and making the best use of your most precious commodity – time!

As a leading provider with 25 years of experience coaching leaders in blue-chip companies and government, Change Partners is perfectly positioned to help you advance.

Willie Snyman is an International Executive Coach at Change Partners with a wealth of experience in business and leadership development. He’s passionate about helping people go from coping to a life of significance, success, and happiness. Contact him at williesnyman@change.co.za or on 082 456 1418 to help you unlock life-changing levels of performance.

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