Leadership Fail: Decision by Consensus

Posted by Chuck Kocher
On August 28, 2019

decisions by consensus

Business Coach Top Tip On Making Decisions By Consensus

Making big decisions is one of the most daunting tasks business leaders face. It’s not surprising that so many leaders of growing companies seek insight and input before making big decisions. But that can lead to a huge leadership fail: Decision by consensus. If you fall into that trap, instead of helping your company grow, you might cripple it.

What’s at Risk?

The results of key decisions often determine the future of a company. Gathering information and advice from the leadership team can be extremely helpful to ensure that a leader has a good perspective. Decisions made without adequate information are destined to fail. Collecting data is a good thing. You’ll have to guard yourself against “Analysis Paralysis” (where you have so much information that you can’t make a decision. But there is another danger many leaders face.

Decision by Consensus

Sometimes leaders take too much comfort from consensus. They refuse to decide until they have everybody on board. The universal consensus is great when it happens—but it’s more of the exception than the rule. Waiting to get total buy-in from your whole team can delay important decisions—and sometimes time is of the essence. In today’s business environment—which is dominated by disruption—agile businesses have a distinct advantage. Quick decision-making is a big part of being agile.

Bold and Comfortable Rarely Go Together

Consensus is relatively easy to achieve when making a safe decision—one that’s within everyone’s comfort zone. Comfortable decisions, however, rarely result in bold, dramatic steps that set a business apart from their competitors. It’s “The Crazy Ones”—the leaders who are willing to sacrifice comfortable ideas and solutions in order to take their ideas and their companies to new heights.

This is What Leadership Means

Good leaders surround themselves with competent people and then listen to what they have to say. Great leaders take things a step farther. After soliciting advice and gathering information, they don’t shy away from making tough decisions. They don’t seek the safety or comfort of having everyone on board. They get out front and lead.

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