I have been focusing on each of the 10 leadership principles I learned as an officer in the army. This the 8th of these principles.

  1. Understand the trade-offs and advantages of delegation and participation. Bring others into your decision-making and planning if you have the time, they have the expertise, and you need to get them involved to ensure their full commitment.
  2. Decide when you’ve got sufficient (but not complete) information or knowledge.
  3. Consider multiple options and compare them against all relevant decision factors and your objectives.
  4. Focus your personal leadership efforts on the most critical aspects and delegate the rest.
  5. Break big problems down into smaller ones and assign them to subordinate leaders or teams.
  6. Never keep more than 1/3 of the available planning time for yourself and ensure you leave at least 2/3 for your subordinates to make their own decisions and plans.
  7. Consider alternative courses of action as potential contingency plans if your initial estimates or assumptions prove incorrect.
  8. Start planning for subsequent developments once the current operation is underway.
  9. Incorporate risk management and mitigation into your decision-making and planning. Consider worst-case and best-case scenarios.
  10. Assume you don’t have all the information or knowledge you need. In other words, there is always uncertainty and you can’t prepare for every possible contingency.

Richard Martin is The Master Strategist and Leadership Catalyst. Richard brings his military and business leadership and management experience to bear for executives and organizations seeking to radically improve performance, grow, and thrive in the face of rapid change, harsh competition, and increasing uncertainty.

© 2014 Richard Martin. Reproduction and quotes are permitted with proper attribution.

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