Leadership is not for the faint of heart. Day in and day out there are decisions that need to be made that impact the entire organization. Many are small. Some are big. Many are easy. Some are not.
It can be tempting to question yourself, to second guess your decision. But honestly, there is not time for that. The next decision awaits.
Reflection is important. Learning from what happens is important. The best leaders want to learn and grow. I’d never advocate not paying attention to cause and effect. I’d never advocate that we not reflect on our decisions and on their consequences. But I’ve seen too many people lose their serenity obsessing about what they should have done.
You did what you did. You made the best decision you knew to make in a given situation with the given information. Move on.
When my daughter was young, she had a tendency to get what we called “stuck in the moment.” (Imagine our joy when U2 released a song of the same name, and we could sing it to her in the car on trips.) She had trouble letting go of a disappointment or a frustration. It could be a big issue or a very small issue, but for her it held on and robbed her of the joy in the next moment. We talked about it a lot, and I think as a family we all learned over time to let go of things.
No, leadership is not for the faint of heart. People will second guess you. There’s never a shortage of armchair quarterbacks. People will judge you. There’s never a shortage of people who are sure they could do better.
But leaders are the ones who said, “Okay, I’ll make the decision.” And there are not a lot of people willing to step into that seat.
Listen and learn. Reflect. But in the end, make the best decision you can and move on.