Leaders as Decision Making Coaches

I am honoured today to welcome our first guest blogger to Wiser Decisions Faster.

Jan Gaysek worked as a corporate facilitator for Fortune 500 firms for more than 30 years, helping executive teams collaborate well. She specialized in the articulation and execution of corporate vision, facilitating high stakes sessions with challenging goals, differing opinions and a shortage of time. In her retirement, she is enjoying life in St. Maarten while doing occasional executive coaching.

Jan sent me extended comments on a previous post and kindly agreed that I could abridge and share them here. I appreciate the links she makes between decision making, leadership and building others’ capacity. Enjoy!

Make decisions and teach others to make them — the job of a leader.

Not only do leaders bear the responsibility to make the tough decisions that pave the way for the organization going forward, but they must also teach others to do so. An organization where only those at the top are equipped to make defensible decisions is an organization that may be teetering on the brink of collapse.

So… how does one equip others to make such decisions? Primarily by modelling the process and encouraging staff engagement in decision making. The first shows integrity, the second respect.

Ask yourself the following questions to identify where work might be required:

  1. Do all employees at every level in the organization have an awareness of what we are setting out to achieve and the role they play in it? Do they know how they contribute through their actions on a daily basis?
  2. Do we mentor our talent through a decision-making process? Are they seeing decision making in action? Are they being included in the tough discussions, in the gathering and disseminating of information and/or in strategy development?
  3. Do people know their roles and responsibility in making a decision? Are there clear lines of accountability and authority, or are there unnecessary bottlenecks getting in the way?
  4. Are decisions communicated in clear and concise language where everyone involved can know, understand, believe in and act upon what has been decided?
  5. Do we routinely use tools to make and document decisions, such as a priority matrix and/or monthly or quarterly reviews of decisions made? Are we adjusting as required based on what we’re learning?

Imagine an organization where people:

  • clearly know their role and contribution;
  • are aware of and comfortable with what decisions fall within their area of jurisdiction;
  • and are equipped with the resources, tools and skills to make easier, faster and wiser decisions.

That would be a great place to work. Make it happen!

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