Decision making defines leadership characteristics. A choice made between two or many alternatives is called a decision. Decision making is based on preferences and values of the decision maker. If an alternative is one, there is no decision making involved. We have three kinds of decisions namely: decision whether, decision which and contingent decisions (Lewin, 1997). Decision whether is an either/or, yes/no decision made before proceeding to select an alternative. Decision which, is a type of decision involving choices between alternatives from a set of possibilities. Contingent decisions are decisions made but, they are put on hold until a certain condition is met. A decision made can either be good or bad.
There are various characteristics of poor decision making. The first characteristic is a decision-making process that is not logic (Lewin, 1997). A logic decision making process enables one to become first at thinking and reaching best decisions in a short time. Approaching decisions in an organized manner, increases your thinking values the next time you are faced with a similar situation. It is, therefore important to logically think while making a decision. The second characteristic is making of decisions that do not provide effective outcomes (Lewin, 1997). Effective outcomes rely on a proper understanding of good or best choices. ‘Best’ at times means within the budget where you can make decisions on a cost basis. ‘Best’ can also mean the best way to exploit opportunities or to solve problems. The third characteristic of poor decision making is making decisions without assessing them (Lewin, 1997). Decisions must be assessed based on the data amount, tools and processes required which are relative to the decision.
Your boss can request you to do something which is not ethical. There are three ways, which one can use to resist in making unethical decisions. First and foremost, one has to think about the unethical request from his/her boss (Gigerenzer, 2000). In regard to your values, society’s or both of them, make a decision as to whether it is unethical. One should also determine whether the reasons make sense to the boss. The second thing is to write down all your objections (Gigerenzer, 2000). These objections are given to the boss, and a request of a reply from him is made. One should maintain a courteous and a respectable attitude if the boss requires immediate answers. Bullying into saying yes is not an option either. Thirdly have a meeting with the boss and present to him your ‘no’ reply, stating your reasons with courtesy and frankness (Gigerenzer, 2000). Please do not make a mistake of criticizing your boss for the unethical requests. Make a reminder to your boss that you will go ahead and comply with ethical requests.
A good decision is definitely not made by accident same as an ethical one. Morality and ethics plays a big role in leadership. The concept of morality and ethics is all about doing what is good instead of what is harmful and bad. There are five principles to be taken into consideration for one to lead ethically. Autonomy is principle number one (Rosen, 1996). This relates on exploitation and freedom of others. Every decision has an impact on others freedom. The second principle is what is called Non-malfeasance which answers the question as to whether one will create harm to others when making decisions (Rosen, 1996). Thirdly we have the principle of beneficence; it checks whether whatever decisions that are made create any good. The fourth principle is justice; this answers the question as to whether their will be any fairness in the action to be taken (Rosen, 1996). Lastly we have a principle called fidelity which shows how professional one is. As a leader, your professionalism should be reflected in your decision making. If a leader considers all these five principles before making any decision making process it is evident that he/she will be practicing ethical leadership (Rosen, 1996).