In my field of business, I have the privilege of being able to talk to decision makers on a regular basis. While observing, I take note that there is an immense variety in the way that each one of them makes decisions. Some are dictators, others love to involve everybody, some have close advisors and some others ask me what they should do.
Yes, I’m a consultant, but that doesn’t make me qualified to give you legal advice.
It is, however, understandable because there are incredible pressures on a business owner (or decision maker) when it comes to the critical moments in your life’s work not to mention the livelihood of others. While I’ve met some confident people, few personalities have the mettle to survive what I think is the equivalent of taking a penalty in the world cup final. Some of which must do it every single day. The one thing you don’t do is huddle with your teammates and ask each of them where you should kick.
And you certainly won’t ask the referee is his opinion.
You might convince yourself that you’re trying to gather ideas, but the reality is that you’re just looking for someone to convince you you’re doing the right thing. The reality is, you’re completely responsible for the result of that spot kick, so nobody else’s opinion matters. Unless your team members, consultant or right-hand man are hiding information – none of them know any better than you what to do.
I’m not advocating for dictatorships.
Some decisions need to be made by a team. Sometimes you need to make those invested feel heard and allow them to engage and direct what they’ve been investing themselves in. In fact, most decisions are better made involving others. However, what I’ve found is that when it comes to making most critical decisions, you should gain as more information as possible and as little advice as possible. Not only will your team mates rarely agree and provide a clear insight on where you place that kick, but they’ll make you second guess yourself on the run-up and both the execution. Most decision makers became decision makers because they were good at carrying through their vision through make or break points and the confidence to do that is exactly what’s needed.
What does that mean from a branding perspective?
Branding is rarely so critical that you don’t want to involve others – in fact having perspective from others is good opportunity to see flaws and missed opportunities. I’ll be the first to admit that there are scenarios where design simply doesn’t matter, but consistency does and the identity of an organization only gets shaped with consistency.
I’ve seen businesses where different individuals pull at the identity of a brand from different directions and in the end, the organization ends up with a very muddled confusing appearance to outsiders. The issue is that a brand identity is built with gradual consistency – and it takes a leader to consistently champion their vision and slowly craft the identity that will allow them to succeed.