5 Types of Decision-Makers and How To Identify Them

Updated June 28, 2023

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A woman sits at a laptop computer while talking on a cell phone. Next to her, there's a list with the title "5 Types of Decision-Makers" and these items:

• Brand-centric
• Multifocal
• Aggregator
• Risk-taker
• Cautious

A company depends on its leaders to make effective business decisions, especially in times of economic change. These decision-makers work to determine the best solutions for their company to aid growth and overall success.

In this article, we explain who the decision-makers are in a company and why they're important, the five types of decision-makers and how to find the decision-makers in a company.

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Who are the decision-makers in a company?

A decision-maker is an employee, usually in leadership, who makes challenging decisions that impact how the company operates. Employees who are strong decision-makers know how to effectively problem solve and use critical thinking skills that help find solutions to problems. They can effectively weigh possible options and decide on the outcome that best benefits the company and its employees.

Related: How To Become a Better Decision Maker

5 types of decision-makers

There are various types of decision-makers depending on the industry, company and role they're working in. These may include:

1. Brand-centric

This type of decision-maker focuses heavily on their company's brand and how they can improve it. A majority of their decisions revolve around how the decision may impact their image and brand. They also focus heavily on their business's core competencies and work to regularly uphold them. Brand-centric decision-makers consider how their decisions impact their customers and the way these customers perceive the business and brand.

When decision-makers choose significant decisions, they pose these decisions to their employees as cultural transitions and work to make these transitions positive and beneficial for both customers and team members.

2. Multifocal

Multifocal, strategic decision-makers aim to focus on multiple outcomes and goals when making important business decisions. They focus both on making larger profits and the way their decisions affect their culture and brand. Multifocal decision-makers use trial-and-error approaches to try new strategies that may benefit their company. They're open to learning about new skills, revenue streams and business models that may enhance the company's efficiencies.

3. Aggregator

Aggregators usually build their decisions around financial growth and change. A lot of their decisions focus heavily on creating strategies to help the business gain new acquisitions. They often focus less on choices that affect their company culture and more on financial outcomes. Many aggregators consult with analysts, investors and technological systems to help them come to final business decisions.

4. Risk-taker

Risk-takers are usually open to new ways of solving business challenges and new ideas for achieving goals. They are more comfortable with risky ventures and are more open to trying new things. They often think in terms of the big picture and the company's overall goals and long-term goals.

5. Cautious

Cautious decision-makers are the opposite of risk-takers. They like to take their time in evaluating all options and they might be averse to trying new and untested methods. They like to do a lot of research into possible solutions and they tend to consider all possible outcomes of trying new processes. They can be thorough in their evaluations and detail-oriented.

Related: Decision-Making Style: A Guide to the 4 Types (With Examples)

How to find decision-makers in a company

There are many decision-makers within a company so it's important to find the person who has the authority to say "yes" to your specific product, service or offering. Finding this person in a company is key to increasing your effectiveness. There are several ways to find the key decision-makers, including searching on social media sites that cater to professional connections, as well as attending conferences and events in your industry. In all cases, you'll want to learn the job titles and levels of hierarchy that are relevant to your particular pitch.

Why decision-makers are important in business

Decision-makers are important because their main goals are typically to keep the company functioning efficiently and make decisions that help it continue growing. Decision-makers determine larger company decisions and work to keep it efficiently running so other employees can focus primarily on their day-to-day projects.

Common benefits strong decision-makers bring to companies include:

  • Making sure the company makes correct big-picture decisions to keep the business growing

  • Helping companies choose effective business partners that fund the company and help bring in more profits

  • Creating effective business and sales strategies to successfully sell their product and services to quality customers and clients

  • Building marketing and promotional strategies that help the business generate new leads and build its brand awareness

  • Planning policies that ensure the business remains successful and employees feel safe and comfortable in their work environment

Related: The Importance of Confident Decision Making

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How decision-makers determine the best business choices

Making high-level decisions for a company can be challenging and involves a strategic process to ensure it's the best solution for the company. Here are the steps that a decision-maker determines what choice to make:

1. Collect important information

Once they know what decision to make, they gather information both internally and externally about the issue they're trying to solve. This information is a mixture of what they already know about the problem and from conducting research using books or online sources. They may also gain knowledge from other business professionals or colleagues to help with the decision.

2. Determine the alternatives

After researching the problem and better understanding it, the decision-maker may now uncover possible solutions to the problem. They use this time to list out all the solutions they think might be ideal to effectively solve the problem.

3. Imagine the outcome for each option

When they lay out all the options, the decision-maker can analyze them further to predict the outcome each may bring. They think about possible scenarios and determine how well each one solves the issue and meets the company's overall goals. This helps the decision-maker realize which ones they think are the best decisions and may list each possible decision based on which they favor the most.

4. Choose the most effective option

After they weigh all the evidence, they select the solution that brings the most benefits to the company. They may even decide that a combination of the possible options from the previous step may be the most effective strategy.

5. Monitor and reassess, as necessary

The decision-maker can now watch as the decision plays out and see the changes take effect. This will also be a significant moment for them to witness the reactions from others in the company and the financial changes that may occur. They may need to make consistent changes to respond to the effects the overall decision may cause.

Related: Optimizing Your Workplace Decision-Making Process in 7 Steps

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