Faced with decision making on a daily basis, smart leaders understand their responsibility very well and never underestimate the impact their decisions could have on the individuals and organisations they lead. In his book "Mastering the Rockefeller Habits," Verne Harnish gives an insight into the decision making process of a leader by suggesting....
There are three basic decisions a leader must make:
1. Do we have the Right People?
2. Are we doing the Right Things?
3. Are we doing those Things Right?
His view aligns nicely with Jim Collin's research in what it takes to make a good organisation great in his book Good to Great. Jim describes it as if we were bus drivers....
“You are a bus driver. The bus, your company, is at a standstill, and it’s your job to get it going. You have to decide where you’re going, how you’re going to get there, and who’s going with you. Most people assume that great bus drivers immediately start the journey by announcing to the people on the bus where they’re going—by setting a new direction or by articulating a fresh corporate vision. In fact, leaders of companies that go from good to great start not with “where” but with “who.” They start by getting the right people on the bus, the wrong people off the bus, and the right people in the right seats.
— "GOOD TO GREAT," JIM COLLINS
In my experience, there is another essential decision a leader must make and it's focused on timing. Having the Right People, doing the Right Things, the Right Way, is only effective if done at the Right Time. With this crucial fourth question added, it looks more like this:
Do we have the Right People?
Are we doing the Right Things?
Are we doing those Things Right?
Are we doing it at the Right Time?
“Leadership is the art of getting the Right People to do the Right Things, the Right Way, at the Right Time”
When we focus our leadership on getting the right people, doing the right things, the right way with a clear understanding of timing, we build a platform for sustained success. An effective leader that understands and operates in the 4 R's takes the higher road and a proactive approach instead of a reactive one.
Master these 4 R's and you'll save time, money and confrontation whilst giving your organisation the best possible chance of hitting it's target.