Have you ever made any decisions that you regretted later? Of course, I have, too! Do you then fall into the rut of not making any decisions for fear that the decisions you make might also turn out for the worse? Happens to all of us, too, doesn’t it? Intuitively, we know that indecisiveness is very bad for us and for our organizations. However, many times we let fear get the better of us in that area and just freeze there doing nothing. Now, simply doing something for the sake of being seen to be doing something is equally bad, if not worse. Far better to have one or two options and wait for the right moment to put either of those options into gear!
So what do you do when a bad decision has already been made, perhaps by you, and you are all feeling the effects of that bad decision right now? Here are a few tips.
1. Quickly assess if the decision is reversible and back out!
Any loss of face must immediately be discounted here. The loss of face, of course, is the loss of your face, not anyone else’s. If the company’s foot can be quickly pulled out of the quagmire, do so now. Your hurt ego will be quickly restored, too!
2. Take action to minimize the effects of the bad decision.
If the decision is irreversible and consequences are bad, batten down the hatches and ride it out. As you ride it out, put into motion things that will help you to quickly stabilize and get away from the danger zone.
3. Pull out people and resources that do not need to ride down with that bad decision.
Evacuate as many people and whatever resources you can. A few may still need to accompany the wreck down, and make sure you let them recover from the effects first before redeploying them. Those people whom you are able to pull out can be deployed to help restore stability to the ship and chart new and profitable directions.
4. Reflect, evaluate, learn and move on!
It is important to ask for forgiveness for your bad decision, as it was quite likely due to your departure from universal, non-negotiable principles, restore faith and accountability, dust yourselves off, and continue mission with a renewed sense of purpose and determination.
I once had a boss who decided to conduct a demonstration, the parameters of which we were actually not in control. My suggestion of having rehearsals was scoffed at. On the day of the actual demonstration, the whole thing proved to be a fiasco. Guess who was left holding the baby? Me, of course, what were you thinking? You can imagine the level of trust that existed in the Department I was in after that! It is supremely important for you as the Boss take responsibility for the bad decisions and take steps to make things right. Only then will you have credibility and earn the respect of those you lead.