Decision Making: A Crucial Activity for Managers

People spend much of their day making decisions. Even more so if they are managers. 

The decisions being made have consequences: some immediate and others in the longer term. Certain consequences are harmless; others, not so much; some are positive, others negative. 

To complicate things further, sometimes what might be positive in the short term becomes negative in the long term. And vice versa. 

The decisions made influence the quality of the ecosystem that people inhabit. Likewise, the quality of the ecosystem has a bearing on the performance of the companies and the individuals that comprise it. These are elements that subtly feed off one another. 

A good leader should aspire to make decisions that have positive consequences in the long term. After all, the long term is where companies and people will spend the rest of their lives. Managing for the immediate term effectively steals from the future; it’s a bad business model.

Making decisions based on short-term personal interests is a mistake, especially when there is no consideration of the impact of those decisions on others or in the long term. 


For starters, because our hearts have a memory. A decision that goes against everyone else’s interests ultimately damages relationships with others and will hinder future cooperation. 

A second reason is based on the plasticity of the brain: decisions leave a neural imprint. For example, decisions based exclusively on short-term personal gratification create habits that can be considered vices. 

All the great political projects have fallen by the wayside due to the lack of virtue of those governing and those governed. The same would apply to companies and individuals.

Essentially, management is about sound decisions and execution. Both dimensions are complementary and inseparable, for business and at the personal level.

Purpose can become a great ally in managerial decision making and effective execution.

Having a noble purpose humanizes work at companies, gives a sense of meaning to life and encourages decision making with the long term in mind. Leaders looking to create a better future must articulate an inspiring purpose for their companies and for their lives.