A Leader’s Range of Decision-Making Options (Part three) of a 3-part series

(My blog next week will focus on effective meetings)

A fourth option is a “consensus” decision. A consensus decision is a decision that is supported by each member of the team. The Leader and individuals on the team gather information and then make a decision that all team members support. One key to success for the leader is to establish a time limit for reaching a decision. Another key is that the leader must decide which decision-making option will be used in case the team can’t agree within the specified time period.


1 The leader will make a more informed decision.

2 The decision can be implemented quickly with the necessary support from the team.

3 There should not be any undermining of the decision if the team achieved true consensus and company politics did not play a part in the decision.

4 There is an increased understanding and commitment to the decision by everyone involved.


1 It takes time.

2 The leader seems less in control of outcome.

3. Often violates norms of an organization that may be use to decide and announce decisions.

4 Conflict may surface which could be an advantage (if it’s managed conflict).

The fifth option is to “delegate the decision with constraints”. The Leader announces a situation requiring a decision, states any constraints (deadline, budget, resources, quality requirements, etc.) and delegates the
decision to others. The leader does not alter the decision as long as it adheres to the constraints. Keys to Success are one, clearly state constraints, two, build in timelines to ensure progress, and three, be available to answer questions and concerns.


1 Frees up the leader to deal big picture issues.

2 High probability of a fully supported decision.

3 Higher quality decision.

4 Decision can be implemented quickly.

5 Minimal, if any, undermining of decision.


1 Will take more time to get to a decision

2 May violate the norms of the organization

3 Conflicts may surface

Author: maxbinkley

Creator of Leadership to the Max My experience in the military helped set the career path for me in human resources. After the military I worked for The Dow Chemical Company and left there in 1993 to venture out on my own. I purchased a small business, then a franchise then started another business in semi-retirement.

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