The benign dictator.

We pitched for a new account the other day.

At the end of the meeting the marketing manager said that he would consult with his marketing team and get back to us with their decision.

Now this isn’t unusual, except for the fact that part of his marketing team were involved in creating all their current in-house advertising and catalogue work.

So, in effect, he was asking his people to decide on an external advertising agency that could jeopardise their jobs.

He wasn’t looking to find the best outcome for the company but rather the best outcome for the harmony of his staff.

Needless to say we didn’t get the business.

What this does point out is the current consensus mode of managing.

These managers would rather keep everyone happy than make hard decisions that could cause conflict.

They take the easy way out.

This same management style seems to be used by politicians in developing policy and building infrastructure. More time is spent on consultation, with all the ‘stake holders,’ than actually getting the job done, that’s if the job ever gets past the committee stage.

Millions of dollars are spent on this consultative process and then there is no money to actually do anything.

I have always found that the best managers are those who have a vision and involve their staff in realising that vision.

They are forceful in achieving their goals but, in the end, everyone feels as though they are part of the process. However they never shirk away from the tough decisions.

When you ask for a consensus you will end up with an average of everyone’s opinion and many of those opinions are biased towards the individuals self interest.

That’s not managing, it’s barely coping.

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