If leaders are able to reduce procrastination, they will see a number of positive outcomes. Leaders who make timely, smart decisions:
*Strengthen social affiliations within their organizations. Effective leaders foster a shared sense of identity in their followers, making decisions that focus on the collective welfare. This identity creates commitment among followers and leaders alike. Making decisions that show this commitment to followers makes followers feel respected.
*Show that they have a vision for problem solving and what needs to happen to move their organizations forward. Effective leaders can identify problems and have transformational qualities that help them implement change. A proactive leader teaches followers to be innovative.
*Demonstrate the competence that is expected from leaders. Being able to make decisions quickly shows followers that their leaders are competent. It also inspires and reduces uncertainty for the organization as a whole. This ability to reduce uncertainty goes hand in hand with perceptions of trustworthiness and efficacy.
*Create more transparent cultures. Delaying decisions can wind up creating a barrier to employee and company development. Information about decisions is not available when decisions are postponed, creating a lack of transparency. Frustration builds about the so-called “elephant in the room,” and employees may eventually choose to leave.
*Do not appear strategic in their decision making skills. People approve of leaders who make decisions in the collective interest. Delays cause them to infer that other factors are at play, such as protecting the leader’s self-interest. If leaders need to delay a decision, it is important that they clearly communicate the rationale to followers.
*Are perceived as responsible. Making decisions shows that leaders are not afraid to take responsibility and that they do not fear criticism or potential failure. In being proactive, the leader fulfills the expectations of his followers.
*Create a sense of authenticity that legitimizes future actions. Good, timely decisions on the part of a leader help secure the confidence of followers. Followers want to know that their leaders know what they are doing, and authentic leaders provide assurance. This ultimately creates a more trustworthy environment.