Simon Sinek 

“A boss has the title, a leader has the people.”

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The Art of Transformative Decision Making: Guidance > Direction

POV: As long as you arrive on time, it doesn’t matter how you got there. 

This perspective underscores an essential leadership lesson: in the journey toward organizational goals, there can be many routes to success. One leadership approach that upholds this notion is transformative decision-making, a strategy that champions guidance over direction and encourages shared decision-making while fostering both individual growth and collective triumph.

Transformative decision-making is a bit like setting a destination on a GPS. Leaders provide the desired endpoint, but each team or individual may take different routes to get there. It’s an approach that not only focuses on the ultimate destination but also values the unique journey taken by each team member.

You might be wondering, Dave, what distinguishes direction from guidance? 

This is a common question I hear from clients. Here’s how I break it down: Direction often implies a one-way traffic flow of instructions from leaders to their teams. While it seems pretty effective in the short term, it doesn’t promote the transfer of ownership and necessary skill development that’s essential for long-term success. Guidance, on the other hand, allows individuals to navigate their individual paths toward collective goals. This fosters leadership as a skill rather than leadership as a title, encouraging a culture of shared responsibility and autonomous growth.

Contrast this with an organization where teams are merely told, “This is the strategy; go do it.” It becomes quickly apparent that transformative leadership isn’t about dictating the journey but about achieving clarity and alignment. It’s about asking, “How can we collectively move from Point A to Point B?” It’s about involving teams in strategy development and decision-making processes. Share the objective and build the strategy to get there with the team

Leaders who adopt transformative decision-making are prepared for change. They celebrate wins not as a notch on their belt but as a collective triumph and a testament to the power of shared decision-making and responsibility. It resonates with the sentiment of “One team, one dream,” underscoring the belief that effective execution relies on full buy-in from all team members.

Embracing transformative decision-making also aligns with the military ethos of “no man left behind.” Where transactional leadership may leave some team members feeling excluded or unheard, transformative leadership ensures all voices are recognized, fostering a sense of unity and shared ownership.

Wondering how you can incorporate transformative decision-making into your leadership style? You can start by sharing your vision and goals openly. Encourage your team members to chart their own course towards these objectives, offering guidance and support along the way. Remember, your role as a leader isn’t to dictate the journey but to guide your team toward the destination. The more your team is involved in the co-creation process the stronger connect and ownership they have to the objective 

Ready to transform your leadership and organization? Let’s talk.

In the art of transformative decision-making, the destination is as important as the journey. By fostering a culture of guidance over direction, leaders can catalyze their team’s growth and steer their organization toward shared success. After all, it doesn’t matter how you got there, as long as you got there on time.

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