When a leader asks for input and then makes a decision, the result is vivid color, i.e. a better decision. It is a better decision for several reasons.

First and foremost, your team feels valued when they are asked to participate in the decision process.

Second, there is value in the wisdom of crowds; many times the group will surface ideas that the leader hasn’t thought about. As a leadership coach and Vistage Master Chair, I see this happen each month during the executive sessions I lead with CEOs. This, of course, is why 23,000+ people around the world are members – we understand the value of seeking input.

Where it all goes awry, is when we seek consensus instead of input. With consensus, all the colors get mixed resulting in a dull beige, i.e. a mediocre, watered-down decision.

Sometimes this may be okay when the goal is more about participation that it is about making decisions. The key is being mindful of your goal.

So, the next time you are asking for input, ask yourself, “is it vivid color I want or is beige okay?” And, if it is color you want, don’t settle for beige. Make the final decision yourself.

Let’s work together. You can learn more about my leadership coaching and peer advisory boards here.

Share this story