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By Darryl Stewart

Forget the leadership sound bite

One of the most common ways that decisions get made in organizations is the method in which a team has their input, and the leader makes the final call.

You can call this authoritarian or, more kindly, you can call it participative decision making.

dice displaying word "no"
Photo by Anne Lise-Heinrichs

People don’t really mind this style of leadership in the right situation. What they do mind is when leaders like ourselves pretend the decision will be a group one and then we decide to contradict the group consensus. “Why do we even bother?” is the common reaction and next time we’re more likely to get silence than real input.

The way to keep the honest input coming while avoiding negative feelings is to be open and honest about your true intentions. Let the team know up front that this is your decision, not theirs. Let them know that there may be other factors that come into the decision but that their honest feedback and input into the process is important and very much appreciated.

It is okay to say “I need to make a decision about this and I would really like your input first,” instead of “guys we need to make a decision about this.” The second way may sound better, but if the first one is the honest answer: use it.

Honesty trumps a nice sound bite every time.

IBEX Payroll extends our profound respect and immeasurable gratitude to all the ancestors and keepers of the land on whose traditional territories our work takes place. We acknowledge that we are on Treaty 1 territory, the traditional gathering place of the Anishinaabe, Cree, Oji-Cree, Dakota and Dene people and the traditional homeland of the Métis people. This land is sacred, historical, and significant. 

Every time we acknowledge this truth, we have an invitation and an opportunity to reflect on the wrongs of the past, what we do in the present, and what we can do to continually honour the people whose lands and water we benefit from today. 

This statement only acts as a first step in honouring the land we reside on and its peoples, and must be paired with education, understanding and informed action.