Consensus Decisions Aren’t Ideal Decisions

649236630I recently read an article written by David Cancel, CEO of The article was called 5 Lessons from Peter Drucker that will make you a better manager. Take the time to read it. I don’t know David, but I could quickly see that we think alike and share a mutual respect for Peter Drucker’s philosophies. The following summarizes the 5 key thoughts in the article:

1. Effective executives know where their time goes. This is right up my alley. Spend time on things that matter most, not least. And if you don’t know where your time goes it can sucked up by unimportant stuff.
2. Effective executives focus on outward contribution. I have always ascribed to the “No excuses, just results” philosohy.
3. Effective executives make strength productive. Focus on your strength and build on it.
4. Effective executives concentrate on the few major areas where superior performance will produce outstanding results. I love this one because it’s all about focus, and I always have believed focused is the key strategy to success
5. Effective executives make effective decisions.
This implies that consensus decision making is not the way to make decisions. This one struck me like a thunderbolt because it is contrary to many management styles. And I agree 100% that well-meaning consensus decision making is often the road to failure, or at best weak, watered down decisions. Getting input and thinking is good, but getting everyone to weigh-in and vote on the key decision drives the decision to the lowest common denominator. There’s too much pressure that everyone’s vote “counts”. Not so. Business is not a democracy. In fact, the secret of successful business is to run them like a benevolent dictatorship with vision. Tough decisions are not universally loved.

Just make the call or have the person responsible for the decision make the call, and support him/her. Just don’t water it down. My experience is that consensus decisions are most often weak decisions.

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