Friday, October 18, 2013

Office: Office – Decision making

It is the only thing that decides the culture of your organization, irrespective of what brand managers, HR, or employees have to say. Touted as a key managerial trait, its absence is pronounced among the manager community. The more senior the person, the better his decision making abilities, one would assume. That isn't always the case, secretaries will tell you. In my limited experience, I have seen five types of decision makers.
1.       The slasher – This person hates accumulating things – in his inbox or on his table. He takes the clean desk/ desktop policy to the next level – clean decision making. Remember the Japanese Manga series where the guy with the sword, goes "Khachak! Khachak!" slicing through people like watermelons? This category of manager does the same with approvals.  By the end of the day, he likes to keep his mail box devoid of any requests for approval.

2.       The pig – This type of manager loves to hoard and not respond to any requests – be it an expense claim or the budget for the next quarter's plan. The most you can get from him/her is a breezy "Hi. How are things?" before vanishing into his/her cabinet. Upon confronting this person, you can expect one of two responses "I haven't received that email" or "I will look into it." And the cycle will go on until either you or the manager quits. By the way, the odds of quitting favor you.

3.       The cat – This variety cares only for himself/herself. Obviously only those decisions that are important to him/her would be made. Everything else can rot in the mail box, including something as petty as your career. The only way to motivate this animal is by showing him a mirror and telling him how he can like a lion. And of course, he will decide what type of mirror he wants to seem himself in.

4.       The Lion – This one takes pride in delegating decision making. He takes few decisions, but those would be the ones he would truly be valued for. While he may not bother with your mobile phone bill reimbursement, he will decide on you promotion. He may not care about what tie you wear to work, but will chide you when you don't turn up for meetings on time. Nothing puts him off more than realizing he has been forced into making a penny's worth of decision.

5.       The teenager – Loves freedom but wants no responsibility. This type of decision maker is the first to clear his name from any potential repercussions of decision making. He will refute any claims made previously and will avoid leaving a trace of any decision making. If your performance manager is like this, you will receive a new performance rating every second day until the deadline ends. Whatever was the rating last saved, would be the one awarded to you. If you question him on it, he'll say "The system only saved that version. Next time, I promise to save it earlier".
So what type of a decision maker are you?