The Effective Executive Owns Their Decisions


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Yesterday, I wrote about the importance of developing dissension to create good decisions.

As we all know, making a good decision and implementing that decision to fruition are two completely different things.

I will just speak for myself.

I don’t have enough hands or toes to count all the times I have made a good decision, but for one reason or another (typically lack of conviction), didn’t see it through to fruition.

I call those the shoulda, woulda, coulda’s.

Don’t you wish you could roll back the tape and instead of a shoulda, you could turn it into a Did It?

I cannot roll the tape back for you, however I am going to share with you key fundamentals to ensure you take responsibility for decisions in the future.

Remember, a decision has not been made until people know:

  • the name of the person who is accountable for implementing the decision.
  • what the timeline and deadline is for completion.
  • the departments and/or individuals affected by the decisions who require a communication plan so they understand and buy in to the decision (or at least not violently disagreeing with it).
  • the departments and/or individuals that need to be informed of the decision even if they are not directly affected by it.

In a perfect world, all of our decisions would be perfect.

We all know that just isn’t the case.

For that reason, it is important to review your decisions periodically as it is to make them carefully in the first place.

If you think about it, it is the only logical way a poor decision can be corrected before it does the team, department or organization significant damage.

The best companies, the best leaders, confront the brutal facts regarding their decisions.

This requires a surgical like approach to evaluate your decisions and conduct these “decision autopsies” in a no blame environment.

That means evaluation without blame.

When you can develop a discipline to reviewing your decisions periodically, including both the results and the underlying assumptions, you will be amazed at how much more continuous learning and continuous feedback you will install in your organization.

After all, isn’t that an effective executive’s core competency? Providing feedback and building in continuous learning?

I think so. What do you think?

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Peter Psichogios
Peter Psichogios is the President of CSI International Performance Group whose mission is to help companies create engaging employee and customer experiences. Prior to joining CSI International Peter served as an executive member of one of the largest Instructional System Association companies in the world. In this capacity, he led all the front-end analysis and worked directly with Dr. Ken Blanchard. Peter has been fortunate to work with the who's who of the Fortune 500, helping them deliver innovative learning, engagement and recognition solutions.


  1. Continuous learning and continuous feedback are so vital to any organization. It is refreshing when leaders believe in the importance of a “no blame” environment.


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