As smart people, we are inclined to study, weigh risks, study, weigh risks, study, weigh risks, and analyze, analyze, analyze. Sometimes we analyze so much that we don’t want to move, or we become afraid to move. In our analyzing, we sometimes identify as many cons as there are pros, and we become virtually paralyzed.
Great leaders are decisive; they act. They mobilize. They study, they weigh the risks, and then they act. They make decisions. They move the ball forward in the scheme of executing strategic plans.
If you are going to be a great leader in the 21st century, you have to be willing to act, to make tough decisions. No one will follow someone who is indecisive.
I had the privilege of hearing Meg whitman, CEO of eBay, speak earlier last year, and she said something that really hit at the heart of this pearl of leadership. Her point: “The price of inaction is greater than the cost of making a mistake.”
In being decisive and mobilizing to action, you must be willing to take risks. Great leaders are great because they take risks—professional risks, capital risks, and even personal risks. If you think about why we don’t take risks, it is usually fear that holds us back. When I find myself hesitating to make a decision or to take a risk, I remind myself of two things: First, that F-E-A-R stands for False Evidence of things Appearing Real; and a passage from the Bible, Timothy 2:9, “God did not give us the spirit of fear, but of a power, courage, and a sound mind.”