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The Decision Maker

  One of the most important aspects of leadership is decision making. In fact, you could argue the single most important factor in the success or failure of any organization, group, or business hinges on the decisions made by its leaders. In fact that is exactly what Dennis Bakke presupposes in his leadership fable called The Decision Maker. We read this book this month as a leadership team at The Summit Church. In his introduction Bakke posits that this key to success is often woefully mismanaged in most organizations. He consults with many organizations who are used to having “management” and the rest of the people in the org chart simply follow procedure. As a result, the organization misses out on the ingenuity of most of its workforce, gets less efficiency from its employees, and creates an “average-at-best” work environment.

Bakke’s response to the typical org chart is to drive decision making power and responsibility down into every member of the organization. The line he threads throughout the book is that people are smart, creative, and are the experts at the job they are doing. Given the power and responsibility, they can make good decisions that will improve the productivity of the organization and dramatically change their work environment for the better.

I think this is a helpful read for those in leadership because it reminds them to think well about the people in their care. His idea that leadership should treat people like adults, not children, is one of those that I agree to, but perhaps need to be more careful to live by in how I lead. So, if you are leading people, this is a helpful short read. Nothing ground breaking, but an entertaining story that may shift the way you look at the people you lead. Which may end up being more ground breaking than you thought it could be. For us as a church leadership team, valuing and empowering people is at the core of what we are doing. So I know this one simple principle can have significant impact for the way we expand the ownership of the Summit Church vision and mission beyond where it is now!

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