Making Decisions from an Ivory Tower

I watched it happen when I was in manufacturing. When decisions which affect the assembly line are made in the boardroom they seldom work and are always resented. The quality of work diminishes and production stalls.

I watched it happen when I was in sales. When procedures are handed down as edicts, without including the input of salespeople, morale is damaged, which ultimately has a negative impact on sales.

In several churches I’ve consulted with recently, I’ve realized it also happens in churches. When the pastor, or a body of senior leaders, makes a decision that impacts the children’s ministry, for example, without the input of people who are actually doing children’s ministry, resentment builds, momentum stalls, and people resist the changes.

Be careful making decisions from “the Ivory Tower”. Many leaders lead with a top down approach, passing down decisions without consulting with those who have to live with them. It’s easy in leadership to forget that real people have to implement your decisions.

Don’t stand in the tower. Get out among the people you lead.

Great leaders build decisions from the ground up, not from the top down.

Want people to buy-in to your decisions?

Let the people having to implement them be a part of making them.

How is your organization making decisions?

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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10 thoughts on “Making Decisions from an Ivory Tower

  1. I don't think it is in print anymore. I read it probably over 20 years ago and I don't have the copy that I thought I had.

  2. A good book on this subject was written by Howard E Butt – The Velvet Covered Brick: Christian Leadership in an Age of Rebellion.

  3. I was just talking about this yesterday. I am always so confused by this type of decision making. As a manager I know there are decisions that need to be made by me. But when the decisions deal with processes, procedures, tasks, that I dont actually preform on a daily basis personally…why would I think I am the best one to make the decisions without involving others who do? It seems arrogant for me to say I know better than others just because of my title.

  4. I work for the Post Office, which means Federal. I grew up in the Military and now I work for the Feds in a different branch; if there is one thing I have learned about those in the decision making offices it is this: They are never wrong; sometimes a little less right, but never wrong! When they make decisions, they just make decisions. Lot of fun.
    Twitter: bryankr