Leadership Lessons: 'Decision Maker' is Your Most Important Role

11-28-2018 By Lisa Vallee-Smith, founder and CEO of Airfoil Group 0 comments

Having been a business owner twice since 1997, and with 20 years' experience in leading teams, I have learned that a leader needs to be a decision maker.

My father served on the front lines of the Korean War. He taught me that teams, like his troops, not only respect but need someone who is the final decision maker. Of course, listening, socializing, and learning are key traits of leadership. These are all necessary to make good decisions. My company's management team looks to me at least quarterly to convene difficult conversations and make important short- and long-term business decisions about finances, clients, creative matter and human resources. And, importantly, they don't hesitate to share with me the long list of poor decisions I've made over the years.

Finally, my husband, Jeff Smith is the consummate sales person, whose skills have been shaped and sharpened over three decades with positions for CBS and Crain Communications Publishing in New York. He is my one-man advisory board who never hesitates to tell me not to waver in my decision making; and, once I do make a decision, "never look back; only look forward."