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February 3, 2018

We Will Never Grow Faster Than Our Ability To…

By Shawn Lovejoy

I have the opportunity to speak with dozens and dozens of leaders each month about the tensions they feel in their ministries and organizations. One of the distinctions I often see between larger and smaller organizations is the rate at which they make decisions.

Large organizations aren’t as afraid of making mistakes. Do they make mistakes? Sure, lots of them. However, they are also just as quick to correct mistakes because they make those decisions rapidly, as well. They fire faster and close down stagnant things down more quickly.

Mistakes aren’t as costly when corrected rapidly.

On the other hand, leadership teams in smaller organizations get bogged down with all the details. They want to talk about the tensions and opportunities all the time… but they are so slow to pull the trigger! They worry about being wrong. they worry about how people will respond. They worry about hurting feelings and rocking the boat…so they wait…and talk about it some more.

After observing this dynamic in hundreds of organizations over the years, I am convinced of this one truth:

An organization will never grow faster than its ability to make decisions. 

The slower the decisions the slower the growth. The faster the decisions, the more rapid the growth. Mel Robbins in her best selling book, The 5 Second Rule says:

“…the moment you have an instinct you must physically move within five seconds or your brain will kill the idea, and you’ll talk yourself out of doing it.”

I don’t know if five seconds is biblical or scientific, but I love the idea. So what am I doing these days? I’m trying to be more decisive. I’m trying to dispel the desire to “make the right decision” every single time. I’m trying not to worry so much about being wrong. If I’m wrong, I will simply make it right more rapidly. I’m not worrying so much about how everyone will respond to my decision. Their response is not my responsibility. My responsibility as the leader? Make decisions. That’s yours, as well. So let me ask you some questions:

What decisions are you dwelling on today?

How long are you going to dwell on them?

My advice? Make. The. Stinking. Decision.

Have the conversation. Pull the trigger. Rally the troops. You may be wrong and you may be right, but at least you’ll be leading because leaders make decisions.


Shawn Lovejoy

Shawn Lovejoy is Founder & CEO of CourageToLead.com. They facilitate leadership growth and organizational health for leaders through executive coaching and organizational consulting. Shawn has been a successful real estate developer, a church planter, megachurch pastor, and now leads a fast growing coaching and consulting organization. Shawn is the author of three books, most recentlyMeasuring Success: Your Path To Significance, Satisfaction, & Leading Yourself To The Next Level. Shawn has been married for 25 years to his best friend Tricia and they have three children: Hannah, Madison, & Paul. They all live in Trussville, AL, a suburb of Birmingham.


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