stop Poor leaders have trouble making decisions. They follow team consensus. Poor leaders never veto a team’s decision. Consensus decision-making has it place but great leaders also make unilateral decision. Leaders must make difficult decisions even though team members do not agree. Tough decisions go against the team. 4 reasons teams disagree with a leader: 1. Fear 2. Jealousy 3. Loss of power 4. Do not know full facts  4 reasons leaders veto team’s decisions: 1. Team decisions not working 2. Leader knows additional information 3. More than one right decision 4. Experience How vetoing a team decision saved my company: I founded the American Sports Company, the largest shoe contractor, in the Dominican Republic. Our major problem was finding proper management. In the first three years, we had 4 top managers. In order to overcome management problems, I used management from my other companies in Pennsylvania and Puerto Rico. Dave and Giovanni alternated their time between American Sports and their own factories. Dave and Giovanni constantly put out fires when they visited American Sports. When they left, problems persisted and got worse. The current management team needed the right leader. I set up a meeting with Dave and Giovanni and concluded we needed the following: 1. Spanish-speaking manager from the Dominican Republic or Puerto Rico. 2. Person with both management and manufacturing skills. 3. Person with excellent people skills. We discussed different individuals but none met all three requirements. I suggested America Bosch, a woman, with excellent people skills, from Puerto Rico with both management and manufacturing skills. Dave and Giovanni said no to the recommendation. Their reason: there were no women managers in the area and we needed a strong man to run the company. I vetoed the team’s decision. I never regretted hiring America. From the first day everything changed from negative to positive. America was a true leader and understood the Dominican people. With America at the helm, the profits grew and customer satisfaction reached an all-time high. She was tough when she needed to be tough and understanding when she needed to be understanding. Most importantly, the employees respected her. She became like a mother to me and I became like a son to her. We have employees that still ask about her. How to veto the team:

  1. Follow the voice of experience.
  2. Let the team know why. They don’t have to believe it.
  3. Be certain you have reliable information and understand the situation.
  4. Make the call and live with the decision.

After making the call, I felt relieved and a little anxious. I believed she could do it. Even I was surprised at her stellar performance. Can you share a time when you had to veto a team decision? What did you learn about making decisions?

P.S. – Do you need an Outside Director, Advisory Board Member, Trusted Advisor,  or Interim CEO?  Someone who can help you see your business and your goals through “Fresh Eyes.”  Contact me and I will work with you to look at where you want to go and help you find the best way to get there.  Sometimes all it takes is someone with a fresh viewpoint, unencumbered by company politics or culture to help find the right solution.

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Larry Putterman
Board Director | Advisory Board Member

Avoid painful lessons learned. Let me help solve your business problems. A fresh set of eyes can show you a different set of possibilities. Use my experience to save time and money. I have been there and done that. What makes me highly effective is my fresh viewpoint, unencumbered by company politics or culture.


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