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How to Be a Better Decision Maker
The power is in the hands of the voters!
aking decisions is a central part of leadership. Even when a leader uses aliaise-faire leadership style, the leaderremains responsible for making decisionsthat followers should pursue.Followers often look to leaders to makedecisions, particularly if they have difficultywith envisioning the specific tasks that arerequired to achieve a goal. Because of theimportance of decision making to leader-ship, you should understand how toapproach decision-making.To make better decisions, you shouldunderstand that decision-making is a processinvolving a sequential series of steps that areoften considered part of the critical thinkingprocess. These steps are (a) identify theproblem, (b) analyze the possible solutionsto the problem, (c) evaluate which of thepossible solutions will be most effective, and(d) select and implement the solution.These steps give you a structural frame-work to improve the quality of your deci-sions. The first three steps focus on collect-ing information that is useful. The way lead-ers as decision makers collect this informa-tion often depends on their leadership styleand the situation. For example, the autocrat-ic leader may be comfortable with personal-ly collecting the information, while a partic-ipative leader may be comfortable relying onthe information provided by others.Identifying a problem requires that youunderstand that a problem exists and canalso recognize the root cause. While it isoften easy to recognize the symptoms of aproblem, the actual cause of the problemmay not be immediately apparent. As aresult, a good leader carefully evaluates thenature of the problem before considering thepossible solutions.All problems have more than one possi-ble solution. Effective decision makingrequires identifying the range of possiblesolutions that address the root cause of theproblem. At the same time, the leader mustremain aware that decisions have a directeffect on followers when evaluating possiblealternatives. After evaluating the alterna-tives, the leader should determine the solu-tion that is most likely to solve the problemwithout causing new and unanticipated ones.A leader making decisions should alsorecognize that all decisions will not producethe desired result. Some solutions appeareffective in theory but fail in practice.As a result, an effective decision makerhas a contingency plan in the event that thedecision fails to achieve the desired result.This plan often consists of a solution to theproblem that was rejected during the evalua-tion phase of the decision-making process.
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s the September 10 Democratic Primarydraws closer, the campaigns are gettingmore aggressive in New York City with morethan 200 candidates seeking to represent theparty in the general election in November.Thousands of potential voters in ourcommunities have already declared that it'sthe Democrats all the way. The Democraticparty accounts for 5,507,928 or 59.1% of theState registered voters compared to theRepublican's 3,130,122 or 33.6% and theIndependence, 345,957 or 3.7%.We want to believe that all major politi-cal parties promote positive ideals and havegood intentions, but each party disagrees onthe method and application of laws to achievethese positive results.However, a party will always need per-sonalities and people to carry out the missionfrom time to time. The overall mission maynot change significantly but the outlook andvision of the candidates or people is constant-ly changing. Each candidate has a style andmethod of dealing with issues.This is based on other premises that wedon't believe the voting process should notalways be based on party tradition or diehards.Voters should always find out where they fit inon the political spectrum and which candi-dates to support.According to a June 2012 study, commis-sioned by the New York City CampaignFinance Board, voters engagement is a signif-icant and persistent challenge in New YorkCity. In the November 2010 Federal midtermand New York State elections, the turnout inthe city was significantly lower with 28%than in the rest of the State (53%) and nation-ally (46%).In recent years, the voter turnout in thecity has been historically low. In the 2009New York City general election for mayor,18.4% or one in five New Yorkers cast a bal-lot.The ethnic and racial minorities includ-ing African Americans have lower voterturnout rates than the Caucasian population.The Pew Research Report in 2006 found thatin the United States., 37% of whites were reg-ular voters compared to only 31% of Blacksand 24% of Hispanics.We are very concerned about theextremely low turnout in New York City. Itsuggests that the election results may bebiased toward the interests of a relative few.This inequity among citizen participation hasimportant implications for the electorate. Asvoters we can influence the decisions on poli-cies and other resources that generally affectour lives.The more a community is involved inlocal elections, the greater the chance that thecandidates will listen to the issues. We needcandidates that will address and improve oureducation system, unemployment, immigra-tion, business opportunities and theinequitable distribution of these services with-in communities.