'The only real power a manager has is to call a meeting.'
A decision maker needs at least one of five things if her decision is to achieve its intended result:
- Positional Power
She improves the likelihood of success by increasing any of them.
She can compensate for deficiencies in any of them by increasing one of the others.
Find more time, earn a promotion, learn more skills, attend more meetings...carry more good luck charms.
Or she could become a manager.
A manager should only use her positional power to gather the right people around her and to harness their time, expertise and access to information as force multipliers of her own capacities - or deficiencies - in each.
Or she could engage a consultant to use his time and rely on her positional power to gather information and expertise, and present her with the results.
The decisions she makes are the product of her hard work and skill in selecting, supporting - and getting out of the way of - those people as they do their work on her behalf. Phew. That's the labour of management.
Given the unique skills, trust and self-confidence this approach demands of a manager, any wonder that so many rely solely on their positional power - and the exclusive access it gives them to information - as the basis for their decision making.