I looked up from my desk when George, an otherwise intelligent engineer who was my boss, strode purposefully into my office. As he told me in clear terms about his position on a necessary decision regarding the project I was working on, I couldn’t help thinking about the past several times that this same scene had occurred.
Everyone who worked for him joked about it, visualizing an imaginary trip wire at the office door that made him uncertain about what he had just said. True to form, as he was going out, he stopped, turned around and said, “But maybe we should do it a different way,” rambling on about forming a committee to come up with the correct decision.
But forming a committee to make this decision was definitely not the right answer. George was a highly paid executive who was hired to make decisions and execute them. He had the background, experience and company status to do so. But he often vacillated, resulting in uncertainty and delay. It was a serious problem that damaged our team’s effectiveness.