Successful Leaders are Split-Second Decision Makers: Top 11 Things Leaders Do Everyday

Successful Leaders are Split-Second Decision Makers: Top 11 Things Leaders Do Everyday

tell-me-about-a-time-when-you-had-to-make-a-split-second-decisionTrue leadership is being able to make important, accurate decisions while under pressure ~ John Salkowski

Leadership is learned behavior that becomes unconscious and automatic over time. Often, many people wonder how leaders make the best decisions, under immense pressure. The process of making these decisions comes from an accumulation of experiences and encounters with a multitude of difference circumstances, personality types and unforeseen failures. The most successful leaders are instinctual (or as I like to call it, split-second decision makers). Having made split-second decisions so many times throughout my career, I became immune to the pressure associated with decision making and extremely intuitive about the process of making the most strategic and best decisions. This is why the most successful Entrepreneurs/Executives/CEO’s will tell you they depend strongly upon their “gut feeling” when making difficult decisions at a split-second notice.

It goes beyond decision making. Successful leaders become learned and instinctual over a period of time. Successful leaders have learned the mastery of anticipating patterns, finding opportunities in pressure situations. No wonder why the best leaders are paid so much money. In 2011, salaries for the 200 top-paid CEO’s rose 5 percent to a median $14.5 million per year, according to an independent study.

Here are the Top 11 Things Successful Leaders do every day:

1) Make Decisions ~ Successful leaders are expert decision makers. They either empower others to reach a strategic conclusion or they do it themselves. They focus on “making things happen” at all times – decision making activities that sustain progress. Successful leaders have mastered the art of negotiations and don’t waste their time on issues that disrupt momentum. They know how to make split-second decisions when the stuff hits the fan.

2) Communication Experts ~ Successful leaders are great communicators and this is especially true when it comes to “performance expectations.” In doing so, they ensure that their vision is properly translated and actionable.

3) Challenge People to Think ~ The most successful leaders understand others mindsets, capabilities and areas for improvement. They use this insight to challenge them to think and stretch them to achieve for more. These types of leaders excel in challenging people and enabling them with the tools and knowledge to grow.

4) Lead by Example ~ Leading by example sounds easy, but it’s not. Successful leaders practice what they preach and are mindful of their actions. They know everyone is watching them and therefore are incredibly intuitive about detecting those who are observing their every move.

5) Measure & Reward Performance ~ Great leaders always have a strong “pulse” on performance and those people who are the performance champions. Successful leaders never take consistent performers for granted and are mindful of rewarding them.

6) Have a Mentor ~ Successful leaders ask questions and seek advice all the time. From the outside, they may appear to know-it-all – yet on the inside, they have a deep thirst for knowledge and constantly are on the look-out to learn new things because of their commitment to making themselves better through the wisdom of others.

7) Avoid Procrastination & Problem Solve ~ Successful leaders tackle issues head-on and know how to discover the heart of the matter at hand. They don’t procrastinate and thus become incredibly proficient at problem solving; they learn from and don’t avoid uncomfortable circumstances (they welcome them). Getting ahead in life is about doing the things that most people don’t like doing.

8) Positive Energy & Attitude ~ Successful leaders create a positive and inspiring atmosphere. They know how to set the tone and bring an attitude that motivates people to take action. As such, they are likeable, respected and strong willed. They don’t allow failures to disrupt momentum.

9) Be a Great Teacher ~ Successful leaders never stop teaching because they are so self-motivated to learn themselves. Successful leaders take the time to mentor others.

10) Invest in Relationships ~ Successful leaders don’t focus on protecting their domain – instead they expand it by investing in mutually beneficial relationships. Successful leaders associate themselves with “lifters and other leaders” – the types of people that can broaden their sphere of influence.

11) Genuinely Enjoy Responsibilities ~ Successful leaders love being leaders – not for the sake of power but for the meaningful and purposeful impact they can create. Leadership – it’s about your ability to serve others and this can’t be accomplished unless you genuinely enjoy what you do.

In the end, successful leaders are able to sustain their success because these 11 things ultimately allow them to increase the value of others. They serve as the enablers of talent, culture and results.

About the Author

John R. Salkowski is a retired Police Officer after an impressive 15 year career who is now a Highly Sought-After Leadership and Motivational Speaker and Trainer. John has wowed audiences ranging from 20-20,000 sharing his unique Leadership strategies in his signature presentation:

Leadership in the Line of Duty™
Split-Second Decision Secrets Revealed that All Top-Performers and Self-Made Millionaires Want to Know ™

John regularly speaks for a variety of leaders (ranging from entry level to experienced executives) for corporations, business groups, associations, colleges, universities, youth groups and sports organizations. Pulling from his 15 years of real world, in-the-trenches (and even life and death) Law Enforcement experiences, John now teaches leaders one of the most important key components of leadership (that is often overlooked):

“How to make Split-Second Leadership Decisions when the Direction and Success of your Organization depends on it!”

John has received numerous distinguished awards for Bravery, Merit and Unit Citations. He has also received media attention for serving as a leader within his community, including being featured in the Philadelphia Magazine as one of the area’s Top Business Leaders.

Any organization that wants to develop their people into becoming “Extraordinary Leaders” needs to hire John for a keynote and/or workshop training.
To request John speak at your next event, please email his office at

Speaking fees starting at $7,500

Copyright © 2013 John Salkowski International. All Rights Reserved.

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