The Decision Making Process Of Leaders

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17 March 2016

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We human being daily make the decision and when it comes to business organization, the process of decision making become more complicated , and it involves the stakes of different groups. Therefore, the decision making process needs to be free from errors. The basic structure of decision making involves the identification of purpose and then to gather information. The next step is to set judging principles for alternatives. When is proceeded by the process of brainstorming and analyzing the different choices. The last step in the process of decision making is to select the right choice and implement the selected one. This is the normal and ideal criteria for decision making in business organization, but leaders seek further insight for the process of decision making.

At Harvard University, the advanced leadership initiative (ALI) is dedicated to deploying and educating leadership force among the individuals so that they can face the challenges of national and global issues. Leaders have potential personal characteristics and qualities that can change the outcome of a selective decision making. The decision taken by leaders can positively change the overall decision making style of organization. Among many other personal qualities of leaders, the important ones are risk tolerance, accountability and value orientation. It is common practice of successful leaders to accept the responsibility of outcome which is resulted from the decision taking by them. Leaders are bold, and they take the decisions which normally other fear to take. This does not mean that leaders take irrational decision full of risk. They take calculated risks. Successful leaders have the tendency to adapt their values according to the decision, which positively affect the organization.

The uncertainty and unpredictability of the surroundings make leaders fearless and they take a decision in such environment which poses some potential risks and threats (Snowden et al., 2007). One of the main characteristic of the decision making is to take the responsibility of the consequences which results from the decision making process. If one put hundred person efforts in choosing the right decision, then even such thing cannot assure the hundred percent success of the decision. Decisions are taken for the future, and no one can predict future accurately. This is the main reason that most of the people avoid taking a decision which has some embedded uncertainty. In fact, they try to avoid the accountability process in the situation when decision taken failed to produce desired results. Here, the difference of the process of decision making of the common man and leader becomes more accentuated.

An effective leader put aside all the doubts and negative thinking and take decision fearlessly with a strong sense of conviction about the success of decision. To better understand the process of decision making as a leader, it is pertinent to analyze the difference between the common people and the leaders. It is seen that the decision which poses risk, common man avoid such confrontation and risk, which may procrastinate the process of decision making. It is one extreme side of the process of decision making. The other extreme of the decision making is characterized with challenges where no attention is paid to the potential risks and the decision taken in this situation would be haste and full of uncalculated risk. Effective leaders remain in the middle of the both extremes. In the middle of these leaders take risks and give an appropriate time in deciding the outcome of the decision.

The leadership style of decision making involves the maximum participation of all the relevant groups. Effective leadership style demands the every possible piece of information from all the corners, whether it is within the organization or outside the organization. Effective leader does not solicit for all the information, but he/she is interested all the relevant information that can assure the outcomes which can arise from the decision (Patricia, 2005). Leaders being like others are prone to make mistakes, and they also learn from these mistakes. But a successful leader learns more from the mistakes of others. In such a way, he/she view things critically and differently from others.

This tendency allows them to create innovative alternative for decision making. Gaining commitment is also the distinguishing feature of the decision making process of leaders. Once the relevant information is collected, and things are put in place for the execution of the decision, leader gains commitment from all the parties involved in the process. The decision making process as a leader not only aimed to gain maximum benefit or to minimize the chance of loss, but it is also important for a leader to produce future leaders within the organization who can effectively take the decision. The organization working under effective leaders create the environment conducive for knowledge and learning (Doh, 2003).

The decision making process of an effective leader is significantly different from that of an ordinary man. The personal qualities of risk taking make them fearless. Leaders think critically from the rest of the others. This makes leader’s decision more close to the desired outcome. Successful leaders gain insight of the issue by getting more and more inputs and information which makes the process of decision making successful.


Doh, J. P. (2003). Can leadership be taught? Perspectives from management educators. Academy of Management Learning & Education, 2(1), 54-67. Retrieved from Patricia D. Schwarber, (2005) “Leaders and the decision-making process”, Management Decision, Vol. 43 Iss: 7/8, pp.1086 – 1092 retrieved from Snowden, D. J., & Boone, M. E. (2007). A leader’s framework for decision making. harvard business review, 85(11), 68. Retrieved from

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"The Decision Making Process Of Leaders" StudyScroll, Mar 17, 2016.

"The Decision Making Process Of Leaders" StudyScroll, 17-Mar-2016. [Online]. Available: [Accessed: 29-Sep-2023]

StudyScroll. (2016). The Decision Making Process Of Leaders. [Online]. Available at: [Accessed: 29-Sep-2023]

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