Good leadership is about good decision-making. Processes upon processes have been developed to help leaders make decisions, yet we often fail to consider the hidden forces that influence decision-making.

This post identifies three hidden forces, offering a self-awareness exercise and an action to improve decision-making.


A leader’s identity is entwined intricately with their decision-making. When an employee is promoted to a leadership position, yet still identifies with being an employee, that leader will struggle to make decisions, course-correct and initiate difficult conversations.

For example, some leaders identify with being nice more than they identify with leading. As a result, patterns such appeasing and avoiding are developed as a way to cope with conflict. While these issues may be partly skills-related, the core issue is identity. We won’t and can’t make decisions outside of our own identity.

Self-awareness: Describe yourself by starting each sentence with the statement “I am.” For example, “I am impatient,” “I am dependable” and “I am a perfectionist” might be the first three ways you identify.