4 Questions Helping Maintain Integrity

By the Numbers

Most decisions you make will not involve controversy. However, when you are faced with a decision and that little bell goes off, you need to ask yourself these questions which all revolve around how your people will look at your decision.

1. “How will my decision look on the front page of tomorrow's newspaper?”

Get in the habit of seeing your decision in headlines. Does the headline indicate a “good news” story or is it scandalous? In addition to generating a powerful subject line for letters and email, this headline will tip you off to potential scandals or problems.

2. “What will be the consequences should my people find out about my decision from someone else?”

In many cases it would be detrimental to your relationship with those you lead if your decisions are made known to them by someone other than yourself. Granted, there will be some decisions that cannot be revealed in advance of the public announcement – however there is usually no problem with simultaneously telling your team when the public announcement is made.

3. “Do I need to empower my people to embrace the decision by providing more education?”

Sometimes understanding complex decisions requires educating those involved in executing the decision. Take the time to empower those that have a stake in the outcome.

4. “How will my decision be viewed by Monday morning quarterbacks?”

Viewing a decision once the outcome is known is the easiest way to find flaws. Asking yourself this question before delivering your decision can help you find the arguments, pro and con, that will be used in the hindsight of the Monday morning quarterback.

The answers to these questions are certainly important. If a controversy is not handled properly, it will result you will be distract by defending yourself rather than focusing on ways to fulfill your corporate or departmental mission.

This is an excerpt from “Life’s Leadership Lessons” a collection of 53 anecdotal leadership lessons, each with an anecdote and the application of the topic in your everyday life. It is designed for use in weekly staff meetings or for personal development.