Roosevelt on Decisiveness

Decisive Action: Facing Issues Head-On

In both business and life, a properly timed Decisive Action can lead to success, whereas refusal to face the reality around us often leads to failure.

DECISIVE ACTION – The action taken after a leader evaluates Resources, Competence, Values, and Confidence to complete a task, solve a problem, or answer a question.

  • Resources – The assets you need to handle what’s in front of you.
  • Competence – The combination of knowledge, skill, and experience to handle what’s in front of you.
  • Values – The nonnegotiable fundamentals that shape our decisions.
  • Confidence – The belief that you will succeed.

From these, we can form a model that helps us better understand how a leader shapes decisive actions: moving from Identification of a Task/Problem, to evaluating the availability of Resources and the Competency of people involved, to determining how these can be used in congruence with our Values, and lastly allowing Confidence to determine whether or not the trigger should be pulled.

Decisiveness Model

If the leader answers, “No” at any point in the model, the following questions should be raised:

  • Resources – Can I talk with management about getting the right Resources and/or adjust the plan?
  • Competence – Can I acquire the Competency needed or train the Resources you have to the level required?
  • Values – Can I talk with management about the perceived conflict between the Task/Problem and the company’s/your Values.
  • Confidence – Are there past successes/lessons learned that will help me weigh the risk/benefit of inaction?

When we consider the term Decisive Action, its very nature leads us to think we must do something; however, we must understand that sometimes the correct thing to do is nothing – to wait and see. While, yes, decisive leaders often do jump into action – execute a plan, and, yes, this may lead to success. The most important part of being Decisive isn’t found in executing the plan come Hell or high water, but the process of evaluating and deciding, and then acting on that decision. Therefore, I encourage you and your team to face the issue or task in front of you head-on, and step through the model to develop a plan that will lead to the best possible outcome for your situation – be it to move forward, to stop, or to pull back.


  • What are some recent situations where we had to take some Decisive Action?
  • Can you think of a time where we didn’t face an issue head-on, and we lost an opportunity for success?
    • Why did we delay?
    • What did we learn from it?
  • Can you think of any areas where we can improve on recognizing opportunities and taking decisive action?

PDF Version of this Post: Decisive Action: Facing Issues Head-On

Written by Jesse Hardy

Helping you define and achieve success.

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