If you think about your day, there are many decisions we make all day long. Some as are simple as what we eat for breakfast, some are more complex as to how we spend our time, and others are just so complex they take hours of study and input from others. As leaders, we are called to make decisions on a regular basis that affect the institution we serve. These decisions sometimes are very easy (paint the walls brown)...sometimes a bit more difficult (adding new programs, letting people go), and often take hours of our time (like moving a campus?). Each of our decisions, whether easy or difficult, have an impact on the institution and its constituencies. Therefore, each of our decisions need to be made STRATEGICALLY, so that each decision moves the mission and vision of the institution forward.
Strategic decision making is not as difficult as it sounds. If one KNOWS the mission and vision, if one adheres to the values, and if one is in communication with their people, then every decision flows out of the strategy. When someone asks a question that needs a decision, it is easy to ask, "How does this help us as an institution move forward?" When new ideas are brought to the table, the question needs to be, "How does this help our institution move forward?" The leader deals FIRST with this questions, and only second (or third or fourth) with the question of affordability.
I was asked the other day what I thought of a decision recently made by someone here at Concordia University. Because I had seen that decision as being made strategically, I replied that I was so happy it had been made that way, I did not care what the decision was. For me, when I see decisions being made strategically, my trust level goes so high that I will follow no matter what the decision made. Maybe a little blind following on my part, but it is so wonderful to know that the people who are making decisions are doing so with a plan in mind - and strategically!