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How many great leaders or influential bosses have you worked for?


SmartPulse — our weekly nonscientific reader poll in SmartBrief on Leadership — tracks feedback from more than 210,000 business leaders. We run the poll question each week in our e-newsletter.

How do you deal with making difficult decisions?

  • I make them immediately the best I can: 46%
  • I delay and hope they go away or get easier: 12%
  • I push the decision off to someone else: 1%
  • I have my team make the decision with me: 30%
  • I deal with them some other way: 11%

Make the call quickly. Difficult decisions can turn into big problems if you delay making the call. Whether you go it alone or involve your team, moving a decision ever-forward even if you don’t make the choice in that moment is a no regrets move. Many times those big decisions stall because the case you’re trying to make for change isn’t compelling enough. You know what the decision is but can’t get others bought into it. If that’s the case, taking a different approach to making your recommendation is in order. Make sure you link your decision to a clear “what’s in it for you” for your ultimate decision maker. Many times that linkage is what can push the decision forward.

Mike Figliuolo is managing director of thoughtLEADERS. Before launching his own company, he worked at McKinsey & Co., Capital One and Scotts Miracle-Gro. He is a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. He’s the author of three leadership books: “One Piece of Paper,” “Lead Inside the Box,” and “The Elegant Pitch.”