INSTANT MBA: A Successful Leader Must Be Decisive

John Whittaker

Today’s advice comes from our interview with John Whittaker, marketing director of information management solutions at Dell Software:

There’s a growing tendency in business today, from seasoned executives and newly minted MBAs alike, to overanalyze things. Because we’re in a digital age where there’s so much information available, we tend to think that, regardless of where we are in the decision-making process, there’s always more information out there that could help us better determine the right course of action …That’s not what the business world needs.”

Whittaker, who leads product marketing for Dell’s Information Management Group, says his company’s core function is to help people take decisive actions. With so much information available, it’s easy for leaders to fall into “paralysis” and not be able to make a decision. But the most important quality a leader can have is decisiveness.

“Business is a contact sport, and you can’t be afraid to make a mistake. You can always course correct if you need to, but you can’t make up for failing to take action when action was needed. Making the wrong decision and course correcting is better than missing your window to take action altogether.”

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