CEOs have all the answers, right?

Of course not. They simply cannot know everything that is happening in the company, in the industry, and with their Board of Directors. They must build a team they trust to fill in the gaps.

Why are some executives such great decision makers and others, well, not so much?

Great CEOs operate with integrity. People will tell you how great they are to work with. At the bottom of it all is how they manage their working relationships to make the entire system work to their benefit and to the benefit of the organization. These are the CEOs you want on your team.

To Delegate, or Not to Delegate

Great decision makers know when to delegate decisions and understand the risks of not delegating. They also know when it is critical to make the call themselves. Great decision makers are also listeners. They are careful to consider other viewpoints, especially strongly opposing ones, and are free to explore options. The best decision makers are recognizable from the people they surround themselves with, their track record of success in a certain area, and their ability to gather and assimilate information and knowing when to delegate decisions, and where the buck stops. Great decision makers simply delegate decisions when they can, to people who have the information and answers.

Oops! Everyone makes mistakes

A common misconception that impacts good decision making is that one bad decision will end a long career. This is simply not true if the CEO has established credibility. If the decision causes a team to lose respect and diminishes credibility, then sure, you are in trouble. However, if you have credibility and make a judgement error, you can and will recover, especially if you make another decision to quickly re-route the results of the last decision.

Credibility is the key to an executive’s ability to execute. It helps you gain access to the right people, the right information, investments, support, customers, etc., ultimately allowing you to make better decisions. Credibility is built upon a track record of execution, integrity (yes – this is still alive and well in business), the people you surround yourself with, and managing your board communications.