So, we’ve discussed why it is important to build consensus in an organization in most every major decision. To do so, a CEO must be able to relinquish some degree of power, overriding decisions made by consensus only with some thought and certainly with an explanation to those involved.
A manager secure in the position should never fear empowering direct reports to make decisions that fall within the resources allocated to them and within the budget agreed to with them. A micro-manager cannot cede that kind of authority, even within pre-arranged limits, and as a result meddles with decisions made by direct reports, removing authority from each whenever such moves are made, and rendering the individual more impotent in the eyes of that person’s reports.
On the other hand, a great CEO or manager not only empowers his or her direct reports, s/he directs those people to do the same with their reports down the line. All this is done within limits that should seem obvious: financial impact has been provided for within the plan; and no other individuals or departments are affected negatively by such an empowered action without notice and involvement.
[Email readers, continue here…] The more power you cede, the more you become a teacher and the more your direct reports grow in their positions. Further, the more you share your decisions, the more you prepare those below to assume your position if ever necessary or appropriate.
If you cannot or will not empower your direct reports, you must ask yourself: why? If it is insecurity that is the root cause, then the best course of action is to share the power even more quickly, as you’ll look and feel more like the group is supportive of you and your position. If you are a micro-manager and are unwilling to allow those below to fail, even with more minor decisions, then you are restricting their growth in their positions, certainly causing dissatisfaction in their ranks, and missing the most important opportunities to enable scaling your organization to a much larger size.