Deciding Who Does What

Leveraging Assignments for Growth

Deciding Who Does What

If you’re like most people trying to decide who to assign a task to, you start by identifying who is best equipped to do the job. They’ve done it before, they’ll get it done quicker, and it will take you less time  to explain what needs done. It’s a natural starting point, but not necessarily the best ending point for deciding who does what. Continue reading Deciding Who Does What

Don’t Answer That!

Questions Leaders Should Try Hard Not to Answer

We love having the answers. It’s an ego boost to know what to do when others don’t. But just because you know the answer, doesn’t mean you should give it when someone asks.

“Answer That” Scenario

Chris is Brett’s boss. Brett’s working on a project and encounters a problem. So Brett goes to Chris and asks what he should do. Chris, having been in similar circumstances, gives Brett a great answer. Brett take Chris’ advice and successfully solves the problem. What will Brett do the next time he has a problem? He’ll think, “I know, I’ll ask Chris!”. And Chris will probably give him another great answer.

What’s wrong with this scenario? Nothing, as long as Chris wants to continue to be the organization’s bottleneck, making all the decisions. Brett (and undoubtedly, many other Bretts in the organization) is being programmed to push every decision up to Chris.

Don't Answer That

Let’s try another approach. Continue reading Don’t Answer That!

The Decisions You Shouldn’t Make

…Just Because You Can Doesn’t Mean You Should

Leaders tend to be busy people.  A corollary is that leaders tend to be bottlenecks in most organizations.  Good leaders learn to delegate – not just to get the tasks done, but because they see delegation as a tool for developing people.

Decision making bottleneck
(c) Can Stock Photo / jgroup

So let’s say you’ve mastered delegating tasks and are seeing people rise up to do things that you used to think could only be done by you.  Much to your surprise, some have proven better at those tasks than you ever were.  You’re no longer a bottleneck, right? Continue reading The Decisions You Shouldn’t Make

Debt Beyond Dollars

Technical Debt Will Cost You More Than Money

Even if your organization’s balance sheet shows no debts, it’s a safe bet you have some.  If you’re not aware of that debt, you can’t be managing it well.Triple constraints

The debts I’m referring to aren’t generally tracked in dollars.  But the financial toll of their impact on your organization’s resilience, flexibility, responsiveness, ability to grow, and overall health is huge. Continue reading Debt Beyond Dollars

Getting Good Decisions

Because You Can’t Train for Everything

Jeff had been through new employee orientation. His resume was stellar. He had completed the in-house job training with flying colors. His first nine Confusedmonths on the job showed great potential. So how could he have made such a boneheaded decision that put the organization’s reputation on the line with a major stakeholder!

What would you do to avoid a repeat of Jeff’s scenario? Continue reading Getting Good Decisions

I Don’t Want To…

But I Should…

Imagine how different life would be if every time we chose our next action we based it on what we should do instead of what we want to do. Why are we surprised when our followers choose a less important task over the most important one when our own wants often win out over the shoulds?
Continue reading I Don’t Want To…

Decision Time

Before Flipping a Coin…

Decision TimeIt’s decision time. And the decision is clearly yours to make. You’ve done your due diligence, gathered as much data as you can reasonably expect to get, made your pros/cons list, done the cost/benefit analysis, sought the perspectives of every stakeholder – now all that’s left to do is decide. But the decision still isn’t clear.

When the facts are clear, some decisions jump out at us. If I want to fill my gas tank at the cheapest price, I can gather information on local gas prices and decide where to go. But life is bigger than logic, and some problems involve unknowable or unmeasurable variables.  Continue reading Decision Time

Making Tomorrow Easier

Paving Your Path with a Healthy Culture

It happens all the time. A client tells me about a difficult situation they’re dealing with and wants to know what to do. It’s a fair question and I’m happy to help. The sad part is that more often than not, the difficult situation could have been avoided altogether. The sadder part is that it will most likely happen again.
Continue reading Making Tomorrow Easier

Why Can’t I Say “No”?

Even When “No” Is The Right Answer

(Video version available here.)

Excessive busy-ness is the most common complaint I hear from clients.  Is it possible to manage our workload in a way that leaves us fulfilled but not burned out?  Let’s scratch the surface of that question by shining a light on our motivations and suggesting some methods to deal with it.


Our first problem is that we often wear our busy-ness as a badge of honor. NoImportant people are expected to be busy; we want to be important; so we don’t want to admit (to ourselves or others) that we’re not busy.  We fill our plates to keep our importance badge. Continue reading Why Can’t I Say “No”?

Breaking the Logjam

Deciding When You Can’t Decide

I thought about waiting to write this until April Fools’ Day and calling it, “Taking the Risk Out of Decision Making”.  If decisions weren’t risky anyone could make them.  Even not deciding puts us at risk of delaying or not getting the benefits of the decision.decision-1013712_640

A five hundred (or 5,000) word article isn’t going to relieve you of every decision making stress.  But here are a few tips that might help you find a path forward: Continue reading Breaking the Logjam