Making the Tough Calls

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Bosses often have to make hard decisions, and delaying doing so can hurt your team and your organization.

One of the responsibilities of leadership is making the hard decisions, but all too often, leaders avoid doing so. In the short term, avoiding the tough call can prevent conflict, but in the long term, the decision can have negative repercussions on your group.

A recent article from the Harvard Business Review states that there are three reasons bosses defer tough decisions: they’re afraid of disappointing employees, they struggle with ambiguity, and they want to be seen as fair.

“Under the guise of fairness, leaders often avoid hard decisions that would separate out stronger performers from average performers, and, even more painfully, they fail to remove poor performers,” writes Ron Carucci.

He goes on to explain how failing to manage low performers can damage a team. “Differentiating levels of performance is a leader’s job,” Carucci says. “When you avoid decisions that do so, you dilute meritocracy and redefine contribution as merely one’s efforts, regardless of outcome.”

By for Associations Now, a publication of the American Society of Association Executives.

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