7 Ways To Make Really Fast Leadership Decisions

by | May 6, 2020 | Church Leadership

here are those moments in leadership when you have to make quick decisions. If COVID-19 has taught us anything it is that sometimes we just have to move forward with limited information.

Like every decision a leader makes, the decision impacts others. These are decisions that are hard to make with plenty of time to make them. Decisions which will be hard to reverse. Decisions which you would usually spend days, weeks, or months deciding – but they have to be made now. There is no choice.

You might wish you had more time to make them, but you don’t. Every leader I know has those moments. Unfortunately, the larger an organization grows the more they seem to occur.

During a pandemic, it hasn’t mattered how large or small an organization you lead, you simply had to act – and many times act NOW.

What do you do?

First, my experience is this is still a rare occurrence in leadership – or at least you should attempt to make it so. Many times we feel we have to move faster than we really do. My advice is to try not to make quick decisions any more than possible. Proverbs says, “haste makes mistakes”.

There are times, however, when, as a leader, you simply have to move forward. So, when you do, here are a few ways to make better quick decisions.

7 Ways To Make Decisions Fast:

Pray

Sentence prayers work. Ask God His opinion on the matter. He cares about the smallest details of your life. He may be doing something bigger than you can imagine, however, so He may allow you the freedom to choose, knowing that He will work things for an ultimate good. Ask for His input first though. And, part of this is developing a close enough relationship with God where if He’s trying to speak to you – you will know His voice in your life.

Check your boundaries

Hopefully, you have certain lines you will not cross. Does this decision cross any of them? If so, wait. If not, you’re freer to move forward.

Take the emotion out of it

Emotional decisions are seldom rational decisions. Do I need to say this one again? If you haven’t considered the black and white decision, if there is one, do this first. As much as possible, try to remove your personal agenda and your emotional response from the answering of the question at hand.

Phone a friend

Moments like these are why you need people in your corner who can quickly speak truth into your life. I have a few friends who always take my call. Before I “pull the trigger”, I’m pushing the speed dial. God created us for community – and we are better when we operate within His plan.

Pull from past experiences

You may not have made this decision, but you’ve made other decisions in your life. Try to pull in as close a parallel as you can. Glean from your successes and your failures. Often times, God will build upon our past. He’s working from an established plan. Don’t forget this.

Don’t let fear dominate

Fear is always a part of decision making, especially if it involves a risk of any kind. Fear can sometimes be a protector, so don’t ignore it, but don’t let it be the dominant decider either. The hardest and scariest decisions are often the most needed.

Trust your gut

You’ve made good decisions before – haven’t you? Or even if you feel you haven’t, you probably learned from that experience. You will seldom be 100% certain about any decision. We usually have to act upon what we do know. We have a sense of right and wrong which allows us to know when we are making blatant errors. So, go with the gut when it says, “this is the right decision.” Many times you’ll be right. And if not, you’ll learn from that too.

Those are a few suggestions. Keep in mind, you will make mistakes this way. When you have to make quick decisions, you will get burnt at times. I’m not pretending you won’t.

But there are times where a quick decision is needed. When this happens it is called leadership. Don’t shy away from it simply because of the timing.

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Ron Edmondson

I am CEO of Leadership Network. I was previously pastor at Immanuel Baptist Church, a church leader and the planter of two churches. I am passionate about planting churches but also helping established churches thrive. I love assisting pastors and those in ministry think through leadership, strategy, and life. My specialty is organizational leadership, so in addition to my role as a pastor, as I have time, I consult with church and ministry leaders. I have more than 35 years of leadership experience, mostly as a self-employed business owner, and have been in full-time ministry for over 15 years. I have successfully led the restart of one church and the planting of two churches, and now we are seeing God’s hand tremendously in church revitalization. I have a seminary masters and a master’s in organizational leadership. I also once helped lead (as an elected official) a mid-sized city, where I served as Vice Mayor and Finance Chair. The greatest times for me are with my wife Cheryl and our amazing adult sons, Jeremy, his wife Mary, and our youngest son Nate. Over 20 years ago, I founded a non-profit ministry called Mustard Seed Ministry, which provides devotional resources, conducts family, marriage, and parenting, and church leadership seminars. My INTJ personality on the Myers-Briggs indicator means I have big ideas, I love creative and critical thinking and I love to see progress. I am usually around people but crave downtime. For years I was usually training for either a half or full marathon. Running was my most productive thinking time. Knee problems in recent years have caused me to stop running, but I’m committed to finding the time I need to fuel my mind, body, and spirit. I write several times weekly on leadership, church, and family. To sign up for my blog on a reader or by email, click HERE. I do interact with my readers, so feel free to contact me. You can email me at ron.edmondson@gmail.com.I am also on Google+ at http://www.gplus.to/ronedmondson, Twitter at www.twitter.com/ronedmondson and Facebook at www.facebook.com/ronaedmondson. My devotional site is www.mustardseedministry.com