Leaders are leaders because they enjoy the challenges associated with making decisions and determining courses of action.
To greater or lesser degrees, leaders find that owning a vision for the organizations they head comes fairly easily to them; implementing their personal vision may also be accomplished without much stress simply because those underneath them on the organizational totem recognize that the seminal obligation of the employee is to breathe deeply, smile broadly and do as they are told.
If the concept of leadership noted above sounds about right to you, then I suggest that you and your organization may benefit from some reflection about the positive results of encouraging true collaboration among all employees. If the concept defined at the blog’s start resonates with a draconian overtone, then I suggest that you may have already spent energy assessing whether leadership should chart a course or navigate a direction defined by many voices.
Leaders occupy the metaphorical corner offices because they have succeeded in recognizing what an organization needs to do in order to either assume or maintain a premiere position among the competition in the marketplace…whether business or educational. But encouraging and enabling all members of an organization to see, to own and to participate in a shared vision takes more skill and more concentrated effort than one might first think.
Bullying and bull-dozing are never attractive behavior-modifying mechanisms…whether coming from a Superintendent, a CEO or a playground 5th grader.
Collaborative decision making and problem solving are analytic tools that both allow and provide access for people to become stakeholders in decisions. The framework and protocol that TregoED shares with its clients is articulated and defined in ways guaranteed to mitigate against having employees and subordinates believe that they have been disenfranchised.
But…the tools must be learned and used in order to work.
Once key decision makers recognize that spending time, resources and energy before issuing a decree to implement a plan can yield far better results than might the single-handed application of a unilateral vision…no matter how worthwhile or admirable it might be.
How Can Leaders Democratize Decision Making?
Whether using a problem solving tool or a decision making analytic, it is advisable for superintendents and other leaders to honor the value of those working in the trenches. Few leaders bring stakeholders whose views are rarely heard to the table before final decisions are made …how many maintenance men or cleaning people have ever been asked to bring a position to a table? When has a food service worker been invited to share a point of view prior to making a decision about a contract for lunch providers being awarded? How often are classroom teachers asked for a perspective that might reflect the reality of implementation rather than the perceived effect of implementation when policy is being changed or instituted?
Real leaders who are confident about their own skills as well as the validity of the tools TregoED offers are comfortable expanding the elasticity of the circle they consult before determining final decisions. Recognizing that potential problems are often best seen by the whose work is directly connected on a daily basis rather than those whose connection is theoretical can be a difference that separates successful projects from failed, but noble experiments.
Confident leaders and decision makers understand that the rising tide (aka improved skill set) of their ability to facilitate successful decision making within a organization will help all the floating boats rise to new levels of accomplishment and success. Bullying the way to change becomes
antithetical ; unilateral decrees give way to collaboration and shared vision.
As the water level of success gets higher, the view for every boat…from dinghy to yacht improves!
Contact us at TregoEd to see how we can be your organization’s life preserver through our process training for leaders!