There's a difference between building consensus  and simply being a doormat.

Big decisions are more successful when everyone understands WHY.

When it comes to big decisions, some people seem to know what to do. They understand the need for a change, and they take it as their personal responsibility. They take the lead, build consensus, and make it happen.

What I don’t understand are people that let others decide for them.

Especially on big decisions, the type that could mean the difference between future success and failure.

I’ve seen CEOs – people that were hired to lead – choose to hand off major decisions to the group, without any preface or explanation. I’ve seen one negative comment during a management meeting knock out a perfectly good option without any further discussion. I’ve seen CMOs spend good money on member research, only to have it ignored because a Board Member wasn’t comfortable with any kind of change.

(CEO to CEO: Remember there’s a difference between “building consensus” and simply being a doormat.)

If any of this sounds familiar, then I suggest you change your approach, starting with this one basic concept:

Big decisions are always more successful when everyone understands WHY.

This begins with you. Every big decision needs a champion and if you aren’t convinced, then you won’t be able to get anyone else to understand, either. Once you get your head wrapped around it, then you need to champion the idea and help others understand why. Get their buy-in, and get them to make a group decision to change.

Then you can start your search for a solution.

Do your research, hire experts when out of your knowledge or comfort zone (but only if you are ready to listen to their recommendations), review the best options, build a strategy and then a plan. If you have to go back to the management team or Board, remind them of their decision to make a change before you present the best solution. Move forward and don’t let anyone, including yourself, second-guess the decision everyone made.

Kent Dicken

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