March 27; When Does Debate Stop and The Execution of the Assignment Begin?
MANAGEMENT BY THE BOOK:
365 Daily Bible Verse &
One-Minute Management Lessons For The Busy Faithful

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Chapter Three: Execution; 27 March

Then [Abraham]  said, “May the Lord not be angry, but let me speak just once more.

What if only ten [righteous] can be found there?”

He answered, “For the sake of ten, I will not destroy it.”

Genesis 18:32

When Does Debate Stop and The Execution of the Assignment Begin?

No Yes-Men

Your subordinates are pushing back. This is what you want – you didn’t hire yes-persons who polish apples and kiss your backside. You need a real debate to get the best recommendation to help you make the best decision. A heated discussion around the conference table. The refining fire of dispute to burn away dross and all that.

The best bosses demand vigorous deliberation to vet a course of action. No unthinking rubber-stampers are on your team, right?

But sometimes the push-back pushes the manager over the edge. When is too much debate too much? And does the staffer understand when to stop debate and start executing?

The manager and staffers should know as a matter of policy when the debate turns from a dialogue of equals to the hierarchy of superior and subordinate.

The debate is over when the manager has made the decision.

The Alert Staffer can determine this by asking the manager a simple question, “Is the debate over and has the decision been made?” If the answer is yes, the arguing arm-wrestling is over, and then the execution begins.

Talented managers make decisions and are, well, decisive. There should be no doubt further down the org chart that the talking is done and action is to begin.

However, if the staff does not know that the decision has (really!) been made, then confusion and the push-back and pleading whining continue.

We have an example of where even the Creator of the Universe was reconsidering a decision. Abraham, a good man, is arguing with God against destroying Sodom and Gomorrah. Then he said, “May the Lord not be angry, but let me speak just once more. What if only ten [righteous] can be found there?” He answered, “For the sake of ten, I will not destroy it.” Genesis 18:32.

Those ten could not be found and the decision was about to be carried out. So Abraham, you better get out.

Managers must make clear the bright line that divides debate from decision. When the boss has signaled that the line has been crossed and the decision has been made, then the debating and second-guessing is over.

The Planning and Organizing is over. Leading the Execution is about to begin.

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