Trusting Your Team With Decisions

When I’m pushed for a quick answer…without time to get all the information…

I often empower people on my team to make the decision.

This doesn’t happen often, but sometimes I simply don’t have any input, even though by position the decision would normally be mine to make. It happens frequently enough that I need to have a plan for those occasions. It has happened even more now that I’m in a new church, in a new position. There are decisions that need to be made quickly, but I don’t know the church well enough yet to make them.

In times like this, the people on my staff:

  • Have more knowledge about the issue than I have.
  • Usually have an opinion of what we should do.
  • Often hope I’ll answer the way they want me to.

In those times, I will ask a question, such as, “What do you think we should do?” or “Are you comfortable enough to put your name behind it?” or “What would you do if you were me?”

Then I go with their instinct…maybe even over my own.

…but let them know I’m holding them partially responsible for the outcome.

  • I’m still on the hook.
  • I’ll support them completely.
  • Ill stand fully behind them.

But I’ll follow their lead on the issue.

It grants them authority, it allows them to buy into the decision, it grows their leadership, and it helps move the organization forward faster.

The principle:

If you want to lead people you have to trust the people you lead and let them own decisions with you.

Are you trusting the people on your team, yet still holding them accountable?

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

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7 thoughts on “Trusting Your Team With Decisions

  1. Ron! That's responsible risk taking.

    As I read this post, I am reminded of Craig Groeschel saying in a Catalyst conference "When you delegate tasks, you create followers. When you delegate authority, you create leaders."

  2. I spoke about this subject with my supervisor in a marketing meeting just yesterday. We were discussing the influence one person has over the organization (positive influence), and the necessity to spread leadership opportunities to others so that, in the case of his departure, the organization will not fall flat. This requires releasing some authority to others, trusting their leadership, and standing strong together, no matter the result.

    Thanks for this post- very timely for me!