The Benevolent Dictator: Keys to Successful Decision-making - Slide 3

Email     |     Share  
1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9
Next The Benevolent Dictator: Keys to Successful Decision-making-3 Next

After OfficeMax’s first year, they’d actually grown nicely and were operating stores in Ohio, New York and Michigan. Better yet, they’d done so with no real casualties and just a few wounds. In hindsight, the key to that first year’s success was their ability to make on-the-run decisions rather than conduct lengthy analysis that would have meant waiting weeks — if not months — before taking the next step. Feuer was often forced to make decisions on the fly, even if he didn’t have as much information or understanding as he’d ideally like, and the dictator side of him was willing to take that risk. Along the way, he learned a few things that helped him make choices that were as smart and calculated as possible, given the circumstances. The smell test is one of the best tools to use if you aren’t positive about a decision. Essentially, that means if something doesn’t smell right to you, it most likely isn’t going to work, so take a pass.

Don Tennant has come to know a lot of CIOs and other IT leaders over the years, and if there’s one quality that characterizes those who’ve been the most successful, it has to be their willingness to make tough decisions without feeling compelled to go through the time- and energy-sapping ordeal of trying to build a consensus or analyzing the situation to death. So when he spoke recently with Michael Feuer, the co-founder and longtime CEO of OfficeMax, he was nodding so much he says he felt like a bobblehead in an earthquake.

According to Don, Feuer, author of the book, "The Benevolent Dictator: Empower Your Employees, Build Your Business and Outwit the Competition," has, once and for all, debunked the myth that the best leaders are consensus builders. Don’s interview with Feuer is posted here, but this excerpt from their conversation will give you an idea of where Feuer is coming from:

I can remember from my OfficeMax days, I loved the company except for three constituents: the employees, the customers, and the investors. Other than that, I had a great time every day of my life. But I know the IT guys would get so damn frustrated because they’d have to go through levels to get through the capital appropriations process. I happened to love IT, and I would sometimes just cut to the chase, bring in the thought leaders in a given project that needed money, and I’d say, “Tell me about it, explain to me what’s in it for us.” And then I’d say, “We’ll make it happen,” or “Don’t waste your time, we’re done.” When I’d say “Make it happen,” they were, of course, very pleased. When I said “Don’t waste your time,” they’d say, “Thanks,” because they’re not beating their heads against the wall, and they go do something else.

Sounds like the kind of leader every IT worker wishes he or she was working for, doesn’t it?

This slideshow features the seven tips Feuer has come up with to make decisions like a benevolent dictator.

More Slideshows:

Creating and Managing Effective Acceptable Use Policies Tips for ensuring your organization's acceptable use policy is successful.

Google Versus Apple: The Big Showdown Unless Google gets more aggressive about addressing fundamental Android issues, Apple may ultimately win the mobile computing battle.

Top Five Privacy Issues Organizations Must Tackle Important issues that privacy officers must pay particular attention to in 2011 and 2012.


Related Topics : A Big Market for Big Data Jobs, Midmarket CIO, IT Management Automation, SharePoint, Technology Markets

More Slideshows

IT security skills 7 Top Skills for Security Pros

Executives at several top tech firms outline the skills they need now and in the near future, including IaaS and IoT security expertise. Other skills listed may surprise you. ...  More >>

142x105itbeusasecurity2.jpg 9 Predictions for Cybersecurity’s Role in Government and Politics in 2017

Experts predict how cybersecurity will affect and involve our government, policies and politics in 2017. ...  More >>

Five9RemoteEmployees0x 5 Best Practices to Enable Remote Workers

Recent years have seen a significant increase in the remote workforce as developments in technology have given employees the freedom to work anywhere, anytime. ...  More >>

Subscribe to our Newsletters

Sign up now and get the best business technology insights direct to your inbox.