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Tex Support

CowboyhatI've been sporting a new hat this winter.  With all of the travel out west during the 4th quarter, my wife suggested I treat myself to something fun during one of more intense trips, so I picked out a black cowboy-style hat.  Yesterday during the monthly Central Iowa Bloggers' Summit, my fellow-bloggers teased me about the whole "shoot 'em up, Tex" image.  Of course, Mike Sansone wryly observed that all I had to do was smile and the whole bad cowboy image was shot (no pun intended).

In business, we tend to give a bad name to those who make authoritative decisions.  Sometimes, that reputation is earned as authoritative decision-making is their ONLY style.  I once had a boss who informed me that my input existed only for her amusement.  However, the other end of the spectrum is almost as bad.  I've seen leaders who are too consensus-oriented.  They care so much about the opinions of all of the stakeholders that when the time comes for a decision, it becomes difficult to move forward.

I discovered David McDermott's site recently, and he had a post last November comparing and contrasting the different decision-making styles.  The point David makes is to place an emphasis on flexibility and balance.  The decision-making style should fit the situation, environment, stakeholders, and expertise available.

The other trick is to be respectful of others' decision-making styles and to consider all the above factors when someone uses a decision-making style with which we may not agree.  They may know some things we don't.  Certainly, there's room for dialogue and discussion in these situations, but there's a reason why it's called leadership.  Occasionally, the leader has to step up and take ownership for the decision... preferably without the cowboy hat and the six-shooter.

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Comments

Bob McIlree

>I once had a boss who informed me that my >input existed only for her amusement.

Ouch. That isn't authoritative, it's psychopathic. My experience with these types is, with certain exceptions, they either don't advance after awhile or, with any luck at all, get the ol' bootinsky...

Timothy Johnson

Thanks Bob... that's what I always thought, too. She advanced, but eventually expired when she had a visible conflict with a peer executive. Their mutual boss sent her packing after years of insulting other professionals.

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