Resourced Leaders

'Resourced Leaders' is a premier Australian based Leadership Performance organisation that specialises in working with senior executives, leaders and high performing individuals who aspire to greater levels of personal leadership and success.

5 Core 'C's of taking great decisions

Posted by Phil Owens
Phil Owens
Philip is one of Australia’s leading performance and leadership specialists. He
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on Thursday, 30 August 2012 in Leadership

Decision Making is one of the critical roles of leaders and managers.

It is also something that is often not done very well, or done for the wrong ‘reasons’.


Here are 5 ‘C’s of decision making that can enhance your ability to make those important decisions:

C: Certainty

Decisions normally occur when there is a lack of certainty.  In fact, if you were certain about an outcome, it would not really be a decision, would it?  

The only time you will have certainty around a decision that you make will be in the future.  Unless you have a time machine, there will always be uncertainty around the decision that needs to be taken.  

Great decisions are taken when the uncertainty is recognised and the decision is taken anyway.

The only certainty is that failing to take a decision means that you lose control over a situation to either ‘luck’, or to someone else who is willing to decide.

C: Choice

Every decision involves making a choice.  Often it feels that there are a lack of choices.  Doing nothing is a choice many people decide to take, even when it is the least favourable choice available.

When you feel that there are limited choices, it is worthwhile to see if there are others available.  For example, if you have to choose between 2 options, why not take a moment to expand the frame – and find a third option?  

You always have a choice.  In fact, we often have more choices than we realise.  Really see what the options are and identify the key choices that you can decide between.

However, don’t get stuck in ‘analysis paralysis’ – where you keep searching for options to delay taking a decision.

C: Consequences

Every choice has consequences.  That is, positive and negative outcomes.  As you consider the choices, keep in mind the positives and negatives and weigh them up to help understand the impact of the decision.

Remember to apply this also to the ‘do nothing’ option – which may have massive negative or positive consequences that you forget to acknowledge.

C: Comfort

Are you taking the easy option, simply because you want to feel ‘comfortable’ with your decision?  Are you afraid that you will not be liked, that you will be seen as incompetent or you will be excluded if you have to make a ‘hard’ decision?

Be aware of the internal drivers for either rushing into a decision (the feeling of control in uncertainty) or avoiding it (the fear spectrum of what will happen).  Knowing these will allow you to get back to seeing the true choices and consequences, and act accordingly

C: Consistency

Often in crisis, decisions are taken which seem ‘crazy’ in hindsight.

The best way to avoid this type of post-hoc review is to be consistent in your approach.  That is, be consistent in your standards, your values and your application of decisions.  Inconsistency is one of the fastest ways to destroy a new course of action after a decision is taken.  

Take a decision which is consistent with your standards and values, and then stick to the decision consistently!

How do you go with making tough decisions?

How do you see the 5 ‘C’s helping you make that next big call?

What else would you recommend people think about as they make decisions?

I would love to hear your stories.

Stay resourceful,


Philip is one of Australia’s leading performance and leadership specialists. He honed his skills working with executives and leaders around the world, coaching and consulting in over 30 countries, from entrepreneurial start-ups to boards of multi-billion dollar businesses.


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