The Courage to Make The Right Decision

Results…some people think a leader’s main priority should be. Succeed at all cost. While I can’t argue that producing positive results are an important part of a leader’s position, there are moments that arise that will force you to make a decision that will work against your reputation, your budget, and your results.

via Lori Greig @ Flickr Creative Commons

via Lori Greig @ Flickr Creative Commons

Life really is all about decisions. We live with the consequences of our decisions and the decisions of others. Because the stakes are so high, we often are paralyzed by fear even if we know what the right choice is. So we choose to sit in limbo with no decision to be made.

To make no decision is a decision.

To help you clearly see the right thing to do, I’ve provided you three filters…

3 Filters for Making Tough Decisions

1. What is required by law? Some decisions you must make are actually legal matters. Things like reporting various kinds of suspected abuse or neglect. Maybe it’s being honest about your finances or reports that are submitted to government officials. If you don’t consider this criteria, you can end up making a bad situation exponentially worse.

Once I had to report the suspected abuse of a student at the hands of a staff member. It could obviously ruin that person’s career and jeopardize mine as this person had extremely close ties to my supervisors. When I spoke to my superintendent, he said a few words that brought total clarity to the situation for me. “Chris, what is the right thing to do? What does the law require you to do?”

2. What is best for the group you lead? Some decisions won’t be popular, but must be made for the health of the team you lead. While there are numerous implications for your business, this could also include your family.

As the leaders of our home, there are certain people that my wife and I have chosen to not allow our kids to be around. We have former friends and relatives that we don’t trust to make good decisions. As parents we have to make the difficult choice between offending these people and being unpopular, or protecting our children from dangers they can’t comprehend or see. Our kids may not like it or understand why, but that’s irrelevant.

The fact is that whether it be your family or your employees, they don’t always necessarily need to know why you made a certain decision. As the leader, you automatically see things from a different perspective than the guy in your corporation who has much less responsibility. Your perspective may never be understood by him because you have an understanding of how each part functions as a whole.

3. What is best for the person in question? I have always felt that if I treat people right, then God would bless whatever decision I made. The way you handle a person at his/her worst, says a lot about you. Don’t forget, this person isn’t a villain, but a real person. This person has a family and friends that love and care about him. How you treat him can establish a reputation in your community about your organization.

I have chosen to keep people on staff that weren’t productive…but they were sick and needed the insurance. I have chosen to allow people to resign instead of terminating them…because they would need to find another job. I have chosen to turn in abusers to the authorities…because going to jail and getting clean isn’t as bad dying from your substance abuse.


Making the right decision won’t be easy. It may not be popular. It might even feel scary. It takes a tremendous amount of courage to do what’s right, but you’ll be glad you did.

More than likely if you chose to read this post, then you’re wrestling with a tough decision. You already know what you need to do. I want you to know that it WILL be ok. It might be uncomfortable at first, but it will get better.

Don’t forget, God trusted you with this position of leadership. People are counting on you. To make no decision is a decision. Gather your courage, make your decision now, and move forward. You’ll be glad you did.

QUESTION: Without necessarily explaining your situation, leave a comment below about what scares you the most about the decision you’re about to make?

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