How to Make Better Decisions in Your Leadership Position.

Avoiding Emotion-Based Decisions.

Vincent Vicari, MPA
3 min readJan 8


Photo by AbsolutVision on Unsplash

How many decisions do you make in a day? Hundreds? Thousands? There are big decisions and micro decisions. What to eat for breakfast? What shoes to wear? Should I stay in cash or start buying more of that ETF?

These are daily life decisions everyone faces. It’s how humans function. Our ability to make high-level and simultaneously basic, mundane decisions helps us adapt to challenges.

Now place yourself in a leadership position. Not only are you responsible for your day-to-day, but you have responsibility for others. You are tasked with not only ensuring deadlines are met, but a myriad of other responsibilities.

As a leader, you rely on higher-functioning thought processes to make sound, evidence-based decisions. You can’t tell external stakeholders you simply “felt” like doing something.

Maybe you relied on your “gut” instinct, but that is not a reliable process. Nor will it gain the confidence of others. Good decision-making is based on evidence and reason.

Avoid the Noise

How often are we involved in meetings that seem dominated by one or two voices? These are the talkers, the ones who feel they have much to contribute because they have much to say.

Yet, when stripped away, there is no value added. They are simply speaking to be heard. Good decision-makers avoid the noise.

As a leader, your ability to weed out the value from the noise created by others is instrumental. Again, your search for evidence and reason is the foundation of your decision.

Just because someone has much to say, doesn’t mean they are saying much. Listening to those who want to be constantly heard leads to suboptimal decisions and wastes time.

The lesson for us as leaders is to recognize where there is value and where there is emotion-based input.

A simple way to practice recognizing the difference is the next time you see something you want to buy. Pause and ask yourself if this is something you truly need. Are you basing the value on emotion (want) or utility (need)?



Vincent Vicari, MPA

Artist, illustrator, and writer on Personal Development, Leadership, and Creativity. See more at