It’s OK to Change Your Mind

A lot of leaders seem to have trouble making decisions (which is unfortunate, when you consider that’s pretty much what they get paid to do). One reason people don’t like to make decisions is that they see a decision as a point of no return, and they hesitate to block off all other options unless they know they are absolutely right.

In reality, though, few decisions are absolutely final and cannot be reversed or changed. If you are two years into a five-year plan, you can still shift direction (and you need to be willing to, if things are not working out as planned). If you are halfway through your fiscal year and your budget decisions are not giving you the best results, hopefully you have a mechanism to make some adjustments. When possible, make decisions but then monitor the results and any changes in your environment, and be prepared (and have the guts) to step in and say, “we need to do something differently.”

Obviously, there are cases where a decision, once made, is pretty much final. Once you sign a contract for a sale or purchase, you are committed to that. If you fire someone, hiring them back if you realize you need them typically isn’t an option (or if it is, it’s not a good option).

If the effects of a decision have already been realized, then you may pretty much be stuck with it. But if not, then you have the opportunity to change your mind, and you should be willing to do that. If you can get your head around that idea, you are more likely to press forward and make decisions.

Decisions, once made, can often be unmade.