Associate Publisher’s viewpoint


By Tim Lawlor
Associate Publisher, Ottawa Construction News

Here’s another guest column from Kevin Dee.

Leadership and Tough Decisions

People in positions of power often make decisions that will impact people (sometimes a lot of people) both positively and negatively.

“Decision is the spark that ignites action. Until a decision is made, nothing happens…. Decision is the courageous facing of issues, knowing that if they are not faced, problems will remain forever unanswered.”Wilfred A. Peterson

Good leaders will endeavour to do the right thing … whatever that means.

“It’s not hard to make decisions when you know what your values are.” Roy Disney

As I get close to twenty years as CEO of the company I founded, I thought I would share some random thoughts on this subject … as I see it.

• Leaders MUST make tough calls … or likely they are not doing their job.

• Leadership can be lonely, especially when there are tough decisions to be made.

• Things change, requiring new decisions.

• Loyalty is a good thing … misplaced loyalty is not.

• People are responsible for their own destiny.

• Sometimes bad things happen to good people.

• Positions of power should never be abused … but that does not mean avoiding decisions that might hurt people.

• Decisions should never be made in order to be popular. Good leaders, like most people “like to be liked,” but that desire should never colour a decision.

• A leader has a responsibility and accountability to the role.

• What was the right decision in the past is not necessarily the right decision today.

• Waiting to implement a tough decision never makes it feel better.

• Leaders should be humble, empathetic, thoughtful, human … but ultimately they need to make the right decisions.

• The worst decision is no decision … it is always better to consciously decide the answer than to have it default because no decision was reached.

• If you are not willing to make tough decisions don’t seek out leadership positions.

“The truth of the matter is that you always know the right thing to do. The hard part is doing it.” Norman Schwarzkopf

If you are new to a leadership role, then you will struggle with this. Your decisions can impact people’s careers, livelihood, future and that should never be taken lightly … but sometimes it is inevitable.

It is no surprise that leadership is hard … so expect that!

Kevin Dee is CEO of Eagle (a Professional Staffing Company). See more at:

Tim Lawlor can be reached at or (613) 699-2057 ext. 220.


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