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Why we lead from the top by default

Not making top-down decisions is hard.  Saying we like bottom-up decisions is easy.

It is easy to be the guy who really embraces bottom-up descsion making when we want to:

1.  Delegate an issue or problem that we are not effected by.
2.  Don’t have any passion for the problem or issue.
3.  Desire to avoid making a decision about the issue or problem.

This is basically the equivalent of  letting our children rake the yard and telling them they can decide what pattern to rake in and which rake to use.  You are not effected, you really don’t care and you don’t feel like dealing with the leaves anyway.

What is hard is when you think you have the right answer, you do have passion for the probelm and you are effected by it and the people below you disagree.  When you still allow the people who are effected, have more passion and want to be involved in the decision to make it that is hard.

It is easier to lead from “top-down” when we have skin in the game.  My experience is that most leaders (including especially me) do this by default.

How have you been able to listen to the people on the ground and go against something you have a passion for and let bottom up leadership happen?

Filed under: Leadership Principles