Business Decision Making – Dictatorship or Consensus?

When making critical business decisions, what leadership type is better? A dictatorship or a consensus? There are advantages and considerations for both.

What’s better? One dictator boss or a leadership team?

Dictatorship Advantages:

Speed –  A dictator can make a decision on the spot and start implementing it right away. Businesses with one boss therefore can make decisions quickly.

Clear responsibility and accountability –  It is crystal clear who is responsible for the decisions.

Less paralysis – If there is a stalemate in the leadership team it can delay decisions, this problem does not exist with only one boss.

Leadership Team Advantages:

Quality – A diverse team can more methodically work through the decision making process to consider more options and arrive at a potentially better decision.

Buy-in – A decision reached among a group will naturally have more support on the implementation and team members will feel part of the decision making process.

The ‘one boss’ or dictatorship style of leadership can work, however, the following attributes would be welcomed in the ‘one boss’ leadership style:

Recognize which decisions are critical and which are less significant – The one boss can quickly decide on the less important day to day decisions and keep the momentum moving forward.

Recognize the value of obtaining buy-in from the team on big strategic decisions – Although there is only one boss, having the team contribute their ideas and suggestions as part of making bigger decisions is a prudent way of keeping the team aligned and supporting the implementation of the decision.

Related articleThe Importance of Team Goal Setting

Recognize weaknesses and skill gaps – ‘Knowing your weaknesses is a strength’. Dictators tend to make bad decisions when trying to be something they are not. If you know your weaknesses and you are humble, you can ‘rent the brains you need’ to get to the best decision for the business.

The combination of the above attributes with the speed and energy of one focused and driven dictator can really be an advantage for growing the business forward.

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