Why do some “Business Leaders” avoid making the TOUGH CALL?

Frightened Business Person

We’ve all been in situations either personally or professionally where tough decisions or tough choices are avoided/dropped like a “Hot Potato”….why is that? Many of those who are in leadership positions whether in the sales business or any other type of business have a propensity to not want to make the “Tough Call” on an important issue and therefore either pass the buck or delegate to someone else. You see this a lot in Corporate America where no one wants to be accountable to their decisions and see this as a politically astute tactic.

One of the best comments I’ve received on this question:

“Companies have cultures, and often that’s to be risk-averse – particularly in difficult times such as those that exist in many parts of the world right now. Unfortunately, that means there is a reluctance to make decisions, because people would rather make no decision than make the wrong one, when in reality, making no decision is the worst thing you can do.

I call it the Burning Building Syndrome. Imagine you’re in a large building, and a big fire breaks out and you need to evacuate. Ideally, you spend a short time evaluating the best route to safety, then make in haste (but not panic) to the appropriate exit. But some people are afraid of taking the wrong way out. True, making down the wrong emergency route could be the last thing you do. But if you’re so worried about making the wrong choice, that you stand rooted to the spot, then you’re guaranteed to burn to death.

We need leaders who are not afraid to make decisions, because they are prepared to give their choices a chance to work out (or not) – and shareholders, employees and industry watchers provide the oxygen for them to do so. And as some decisions will be wrong – it’s a statistical fact of life – to ensure that any subsequent criticism is given constructively”.

What are your thoughts? Why do some “Business Leaders” avoid making the TOUGH CALL?


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