I've had a number of conversations about different topics lately with different people. In each case though, the conversation turned to just who should be making the decisions on the particular issue.

The problem in all cases was that the person that had been making decisions for either the departments or areas were people that had no knowledge or experience in the job at hand. These people based everything on their observation without asking the people who did the job how it might impact things, and of course there were major issues, some of them quite serious. It's bad enough when bad decisions impact cash flow, but when they're a matter of health concerns you're talking about critical issues.

I've always wondered just what it is that makes people in leadership positions decide that it has to be them to make all decisions, even when they know deep in their hearts that they have no idea what's going on. Why are there so many leaders so weak that they fear asking someone else what the impact of what it is they want to do might be before doing something inherently stupid. I use stupid because, as I said, in some of the situations above they were life critical. In those that were monetary related, the decisions were so insipid that calling them stupid almost isn't strong enough.

As an employee, you almost always know when a rule is a bad one. I say that because I've long counseled employees who believe merit raises are the way to go that they might be asking for something that will come back to bite them because they never know what the motivation of management might end up being if given that option. Everyone thinks they're the best employee in the world, but would you want to take your chances being evaluated by someone who really didn't know what you did?

Leaders, get off the power trip and let some of your employees help you get things right. There's never any shame in acknowledging that something isn't your strong suit. In many companies, leaders are hired for one skill, not all skills, and thus letting someone else help you make your departments better isn't anything to be embarrassed about. Instead, this makes you a stronger leader because your employees know you value their judgment and the opportunity to participate in the process.

And that's the best leadership gift you can ever be given.

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