In this episode of the 5 Leadership Questions podcast Todd Adkins and Barnabas Piper talk with Jenni Catron, a church leader and author, about how leaders can best make hard decisions and communicate about them well. Every leader is faced with difficult choices, sometimes almost paralyzingly difficult ones. Some leaders over-analyze and others see only a bright (if fictional) future. So how can leaders make such decisions well and then communicate the best way with their teams? We ask the following questions.
- What is the hardest decision you’ve ever had to make as a leader?
- How does a leader balance potential positive vs. potential negative impact when making a decision?
- When should leaders make decisions themselves and when should they work with a team to make them?
- How should leaders communicate with their organization about difficult and/or momentous decisions?
- How should leaders respond when a difficult decision goes bad?
“The hardest decision always involve staff . . . firing people.”
“The most important leadership decision you are going to make is who you marry.”
“What you can do in ministry is severely limited if you’re married to someone who is not on board with it.”
“The hardest decisions we make on a regular basis are just day-to-day decisions that we put off.”
“One of the hardest decisions is letting other people decide.”
“I know who God has created me to be. I know how I’m wired.”
“The church is more than a community of people with a gifted pastor. The church is a community of gifted people.”
“The negative is always louder and usually clearer.”
“You need wise council; don’t make the decision on your own.”
“Sometimes a leader must be compelled that he is right.”
“There’s a big difference between getting counsel and making it a vote.”
“Make the decisions only you can make.”
“People will follow you if you’re uncertain; they won’t follow you if you’re unclear.”
“Pay attention to the formal and informal communication chains.”
“In communication I’m always asking ‘who needs to know, what do they need to know, and when do they need to know it?’”
“If you don’t give enough information people are going to fill in the blanks with their own narrative.”
“When a decision goes wrong own it.”
“Be willing to admit whatever part is your fault.”
“When a decision goes wrong the you-know-what rolls uphill.”
The Four Dimensions of Extraordinary Leadership by Jenni Catron