“I want to evaluate you based on the quality of your decisions, not how effectively you carry out my decisions.” A frustrated executive recently told me that no one on his team was willing to make a decision. Instead, everyone came to him for guidance before acting on even the smallest issue. A quick survey revealed that people were criticized for making a bad decision and punished for acting on decisions without first getting approval. In other words, the executive had created the very environment he was complaining about.
Leaders who want a decisive, agile organization must create a culture that encourages autonomy. A first step could be implementing a 1-3-1 decision-making model. A direct report offers one issue, three alternatives and one recommendation to their boss. From the ensuing discussion, the direct report benefits from their leader’s thinking and learns whether this type of issue is one they can make on their own. Over time, informed decisions are made…independently.
The culture we create is the culture we get. When our business isn’t operating as planned, don’t look at your people to identify the problem…look in the mirror. Our culture is a reflection of our own making.
Be intentional about it…