The Seattle Post-Intelligencer, is moving from a regular newspaper to an online only presence. According to the New York Times this morning, it is the first major newspaper to take this action. Other media outlets will describe this as a sign of our economic times, a commentary on the shifting of the media landscape, and the further ubiquity of the web.
While it may be all of those things, it is also a leadership lesson for all of us.
I’m sure for those leading the Seattle Post-Intelligencer there were hard decisions to be made, and the final decision while perhaps made on economic terms also had more than its share of emotional components. But when faced with a decision, these leaders made one – a creative and unique one.
When we wait too long to make a decision we often run out of (or severely limit our) options. In this case, the shift to online only did cost the paper many jobs, but some remained, and in fact, some will be added. Compare that to waiting until other options were exhausted, and no jobs, and no service to the community remains.
In my executive coaching work I often encourage and prompt and question leaders about decision making – encouraging them to decide sooner and decide more creatively.
Whether in executive leadership or supervisory leadership it pays to be decisive.
History will show the results of the decision made by the leaders of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer was innovative leadership or postponed the inevitable. Either way, decisive action will have made a real difference for employees and the customer right now.
Ask yourself this question:
What decision looms for you today, and what creative options do you have?
Consider your answer – and action – as one of your key leadership activities of the day.