Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Decisions, Decisions

Over the past year or two, I have been formally evaluated by my co-workers a number of times. With each of those, I look for consistent areas that I need to improve as well as strengths that I can retain and nurture. One area of improvement I have is my decision-making process.

Several people stated, by score and text, that I tend to make quick decisions. That I could benefit from a more methodical style. Essentially, I need to slow down - I move too fast. So I took a class on managerial decision making (actually, more than one) in order to learn new approaches. Methodical, structured decision-making. All good stuff.

Then yesterday, while waiting for a tour group to arrive, a mechanic I had worked with for a couple years happened by. We engaged in the usual hallway chit-chat, with the typical "are you staying out of trouble" office jokes, when he said something I found interesting.

He said that he was spoiled working for me because I could make decisions. The group he was working for now couldn't make a damn decision to save their life. They'd waffle and back track, unsure of themselves and instilling uncertainty among the team members. I tried to laugh that off, but he was insistent that working for me was a pleasure. I found that, too, a bit odd because we were under the gun and working six tens per week, for no less than six months straight. I'm sure that such a pace wasn't fun, despite the fatter paychecks. I pulled night shift as much as my family schedule would allow, so this period wasn't fun for my wife and kids, either.

So what do I do with this?

That's the thing I struggle with, given copious feedback. For every sheet I get that states I run roughshod over the wallflowers in the room, I get another that says thank God I took control because nothing was getting done otherwise.

What I do know about myself is that I am perfectly content to follow, as long as I don't perceive a leadership vacuum. If no one is steering the ship, then I will grab the wheel. Should I worry about that? Should I change my ways? At what point do you just say, "fuck it - that's who I am" and just let it be?

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