This is part 2! Have you read part 1 yet?

Plans and Decisions

A decentralized approach

Whenever possible let people make decisions.  This provides opportunities for learning and improves the skills of each team member.  If the plan is handed down from the top people will not develop ownership of the plan or designs.  However, this must be balanced with leadership from the top in the form of suggestions or picking a direction when people are stalled and not going forward.  This could be described as indirect or direct leadership.  Whenever possible lean toward indirect leadership.  In times of crisis, direct leadership can become necessary. So learn when to step in when it must be done. But as soon as possible get the employee at the wheel and own the project.

Employees as Decision Makers

What to do with plans of varying completion or likelihood of success?  If a leader comes up with a 90% plan but they review a plan that an employee came up with that is an 80% plan they should go with it.  If employees are executing their own plan they will own it and make up for the 10% loss of efficiency.  If it is a 60% to 70% plan then make comments and course corrections but still go with their plan.  If it is a 50% or less plan then ask questions to expose the deficiencies.  The employees will then see what is wrong and go fix it and come back with a plan that will work.  If this is done the team will get better and better.  They will probably even learn how to execute better plans than what the leader would come up with.

As a leader make sure you are not the bottleneck.

~ Troy Pongratz