Many leaders have a hard time determining whether the decision they are faced with making is the correct one. I get that. To be honest, I struggled with that very problem for years. However, I have learned a secret process to making better, wiser decisions. It's this, well, hold on for a moment. I already gave it to you, it's the title of this article. The secret is always putting the vision before a decision.
There are questions I always ask when faced with a decision. First question I always ask, "Does this fit my vision?" Jack Welch, one of the most influential business executive of all time, once said, "Good business leaders create a vision, articulate the vision, passionately own the vision, and relentlessly drive it to completion." Notice, the focus on the vision. Every decision that a leader makes must be in alignment with their vision. I remember reading about an automobile tire company that tried to get into auto body repair. They made the decision to shift their vision. Years later they went out of business. They made a decision that did not fit their vision. If the decision is beyond your vision it should be beyond your decision.
Second, I ask, "How much will this propel my vision?" Not every good option is the right option. I say it this way often, "I want God-birthed ideas, not just good ideas." Anyone can come up with good ideas, but the God-birthed ideas will push your vision further, faster than 1,000 good ideas. One wrong decision can destroy a business, church, company, family, or friendship circle. But slowing the vision can be just as dangerous. The slower the vision the harder it is to maintain excitement, passion, and buy-in by those who will fund that vision. Wise decisions can push you years down the road with one or two God-birthed ideas.
The vision must be followed by the venture. It is not enough to stare up the steps - we must step up the stairs. ~Vance Havner
Finally question I ask, "Will this decision hurt my vision?" Some people make decisions based on impulse. I remember someone trying to pressure me into an expensive purchase. I remember stopping the individual and saying, "I don't make decisions based on pressure, but by purpose." Too many people give in to pressure and then make decisions that ultimately hurt the call that God has put on their life. Every decision must be weighed in prayer, counsel, and time. If you can't make a decision ask yourself if it is in alignment with your vision. If it is, it just might make that decision much easier.
Every decision that I make, as a leader, I process it through those three questions, or litmus tests. It makes the decision process so much smoother and easier. I always put the vision before every decision. Guess what happens next? The decision becomes so much easier.
Write down your vision.
Put it up in your office, closet, wallet, or screensaver.
Put every decision through the filter of your vision.
Remember, vision before decision.