In leadership, the power of a decision is found not only in getting the call right, even more so in getting the timing of the call right.
The right decision, made at the wrong time, can be worse than no decision at all.
Making The Decision Too Soon
Can a good decision be derailed because it was made too soon? Absolutely it can.
You might decide that it’s time for a shake-up in the organization, and so you announce a new change to the organization chart. It might be the right decision. But if you make the call before you’ve brought the team through a season of consultation, the whole thing could blow up in your face.
You might decide to make a fundamental shift in the direction of the organization. And it might be the right decision. But if you make the call before test-flying the concept among key stake-holders, it might be a move that garners no support among these core influencers.
Making The Decision Too Late
Can a good decision be derailed because it was made too late? Absolutely it can.
You might decide to remove a member of the team because the person has consistently violated team values. It might be the right decision. But if you make the call long after the person has inflicted serious damage to your team’s culture, it could come at the cost of a healthy team culture.
You might decide to cut costs in order to improve your organization’s chances of avoiding a financial loss. It might be the right decision. But if you make the call well past the time when it can make any meaningful impact to the bottom line, it might be a classic case of ‘too little, too late’.
Make the Decision On Time
There is no magic formula for getting this right. But effective leaders navigate the issue of timing by asking questions like this:
Do I have the necessary information to make a sound call?
Have I taken the time to get the key stakeholders on board?
Are there any external factors that need special attention?
Use such questions go guide the timing on your next key decision.
Because getting the decision right really matters. And getting the timing of the decision right just might matter even more.