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The Midweek Motivator – Chasing Decisiveness

Recently this jarring headline floated through the corridors of American business: “Only 18% of AllManagers Are Truly Qualified”. Okay, let’s presume that’s wrong; instead let’s be blindly optimistic in defiance of that proclamation and re-frame in more realistic radio context: “Only 36% of all managers are truly qualified.” In either case there’s a lot of ground to re-take in an increasingly challenging competitive arena.

There has never been a perfect company, a perfect boss, or a one hundred percent complete Radio organization. No media company has ever accomplished anything with 100% efficiency. In fact when you boil it down to days, weeks, and years, many actions are relatively inefficient! Yet it’s only when inefficiency rises to dysfunction that productiveness too erodes, collapsing into organizational decline. For example, if your cash-flow-to-net-sales percentage is thirty-five percent when it’s targeted for forty, your company can obviously survive and profit. The Board of Directors and your Shareholders may not order wall plaques or offer glittering congratulations but you will profitabilitysurvive.

The important lesson then is not that errors and frustrations won’t occur, but instead as a leader, the stronger your grasp on the strategy the more you can weather tactical upset (daily setbacks or short term conflicts). The irony of Broadcasting’s current-state seems to suggest that while more disruption and dysfunction seem to occur, there’s less commitment to long-range modeling, hamstrung by this week’s bouleversement. In-turn, this may result only in reacting, as opposed to war-gaming possibilities, designing solutions.

How many times have we heard the declaration, “an effective manager must be decisive”? The plain fact is any leader must be decisive! But decisiveness itself is not a posture, nor is it stubbornness or bellicosity. Instead, “decisiveness” is rather the willingness, after weighing all the critical factors, to act…to move forward with relentless purpose. Decisiveness is not a secret strategic advantage; instead it’s the price of admission for leaders ascending to the top! Is your group on that Bus?

The way we approach a problem-set and the tactics we adopt can ensure decisiveness becomes a core posture that will never betray you! Step back and look at the global undulation we’re experiencing: major crime, a bellicose Russian leader; even select government agencies running amok. As for day-to-day conflict resolution, everyone has an opinion—so long as there’s no contingent liability, nor the requirement for them to personally act on a situation. That’s not “decisiveness” but a model for the adage, “Only a few hunters, but everyone wants a taste of the meat!”

Circling back to challenges over which we do have immediate influence, summed up, decisiveness requires self-confidence, integrity, and a willingness to endure criticism so that we can push and shove whenever push comes to shove!

It’s unlikely someone will stop you in the hall today with an admonishment to “please be more decisive!” Yet from your building to a department at IBM, clarity-of-expectation is what uncertain people in an uncertain world crave and thrive on! The most decisive people we’ve encountered are filled with the belief that anything can be accomplished through a strong concept well executed by intensely dedicated people.