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Empowering people for great decisions

by Rick Baker
On Jan 12, 2011
Of course, good leaders want to:
  • Do a good job at delegating authority for decision making
  • Empower people so they are motivated to expand their decision making
Here are a couple of important considerations:
  • Delegation must be consistent…people need to be told the rules and the extent of their authorities
  • Delegation must be communicated…it is not enough to say “Our people are empowered to make decisions”. It is important to ensure people understand how and when their authorities should be exercised. It is important to ensure people understand your decisions can be questioned…’within bounds’.
How should we go about setting up Decision-Making authorities so people are empowered?
Leaders - here is simple way to approach this: consider the people who directly report to you then have those people perform the same exercise for the people reporting to them.
According to Brian Tracythere are 3 types of decisions:
  • Command Decisions: decisions made by the Leader alone
  • Consultative Decisions: decisions made by the Leader after the Leader has consulted with his/her direct reports [and other folks, as required]
  • Consensus Decisions: decisions where the Leader delegates the decision-making authority to his/her Leadership team…i.e., like the others, the Leader gets a single vote
As mentioned above, communication is important. The first step is informing everyone you think it makes sense to follow Brian Tracy’s advice and use 3 types of decisions. After that, start by saying, “This is a consultative decision” or “This is a consensus decision” or “This is a command decision”. This probably will not be required because people will understand the decision type by the way you introduce the decision. On the other hand, there is no harm in making sure by saying things like “I would like to consult you about this” or “Can we come to group consensus about this” or “I have made the following decision’. When in doubt – over-communicate.
About Command Decisions: I have told people I have a 10-3-1 Guideline:
  • For every 10 [command] decisions I make I expect about 3 will be questioned
  • For every 10 [command] decisions I make I expect about 1 to be strongly resisted
It seems to me 10-3-1 is about the right ratio. When I make command decisions I will make mistakes…hopefully, I do not err more than 3 times out of 10 decisions. If I do then I shouldn’t be the boss. Occasionally I will make a glaring mistake…hopefully; I do not do that more than 1 time out of 10 decisions. My communication of the 10-3-1 ratio is an effort to ensure everyone is comfortable questioning my decisions…’within bounds’.
According to Dale Carnegie...
"When Theodore Roosevelt was in the White House, he confessed that if he could be right 75 percent of the time, he would reach the highest measure of his expectation.
Roosevelt's 75%... that supports the selection of 3 in 10-3-1...or, at least, it suggests having 3 of 10 decisions questioned is in the right ballpark.
Link to Brian Tracy www.briantracy.com


Delegation & Decisions | INSPIRE PEOPLE - GROW PROFITS! | Seeking Simple!

Comments (7) -

rick baker
12/26/2012 1:54:52 PM #

"There are, broadly, two types of decision:

1. Decide whether or not to do something. You decide to move forward from where you are or decide to stay put.
2. A choice between alternative (which may also include doing nothing)."

Edward de Bono
`The Six Value Medals`, (2005)

rick baker
1/22/2013 7:21:10 PM #

“The ability to compromise is a particularly advanced and difficult form of decision making – and therefore one of the first abilities to decline when our willpower is depleted, particularly when we take our depleted selves shopping.”

Baumeister & Tierney
‘Willpower', (2011)

rick baker
6/29/2013 11:36:57 AM #

4 Villians of Decision Making

1. Narrow framing
2. Confirmation bias
3. Short-term emotion
4. Over-confidence

Chip Heath & Dan Heath
'Decisive', (2013)

rick baker
7/27/2013 12:19:56 PM #

"Seeking consensus before making a decision does not abdicate authority or absolve responsibility but it can result in lost opportunity and watered down courses of action."

Wess Roberts
'Leadership Secrets of Attila The Hun' (1985/2009 audio)

rick baker
8/13/2013 12:03:25 AM #

"The best executive is one who has sense enough to pick good people to do what he wants done, and self-restraint enough to keep from meddling with them while they do it."

Theodore Roosevelt

rick baker
12/2/2014 9:47:19 PM #

"Think for yourself and question authority."

Timothy Leary

rick baker
6/5/2016 2:50:13 PM #

"Decisions part the fog on stagnant waters. Cowardice kills us."

Søren Kierkegaard.

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