Only consult people as a last resort.
Some 90 percent of consultation is totally unnecessary. You can’t have it
both ways: You can either have consultation or you can have decisions,
but you can’t have both at the same time.
Consultation leads to delays, demotivation, and competitive decline.
To do the biz you need team leaders who can make decisions and hold
themselves accountable for them. It is a total waste of time to consult
people on most decisions. People love bosses who make decisions—
especially the right decisions, but then the best bosses tend to make the
right decisions. Conversely, people hate bosses who never make
decisions, who insist on the merry-go-round of consulting people left,
right, and center.
The problem with too much consultation is that it fuzzes over a
prime principle of doing the biz—and that is accountability. An
organization can only thrive when all
team leaders and all team members know
exactly what contribution they are
accountable for making. When you have
that clarity of purpose, you just get on
and do what needs to be done—and
there’s little need for consultation as a
result. People are trusted to make the
Another problem with consultation is
that the amateurs try to advise the
professionals, and the novices try to advise the experts. Every Tom,
Dick, and Harry’s opinion is given equal weight, when the person whose
opinion should carry most weight is the person accountable for making
the decision and implementing it.
Consultation is time-wasting, inefficient, and painfully frustrating,
especially when it is clear what the decision should be. Even when it is
not clear, someone has to be accountable for deciding on the risk. Often
consultation drags on as people seek a consensus that never arrives. You
“I am making a decision
whether or not to consult
you on the decision I
should make, and that’s
whether or not I should
consult you on the