A leader is best when

  • people barely know that she exists, 
  • not so good when people obey and acclaim him, 
  • worst when they despise her
  • But of a good leader, who talks little,  When his work is done, his aim fulfilled,  They will all say, ‘We did this ourselves.’ 

-Lao Tzu

Most employees want to be involved in decisions that affect their work.

Every manager has her own style in how much they involve employees to make decisions that are important to their performance and to the quality of their working lives. Some choose to “command and control” and some are more lenient —see continuum of leadership chart below. Studies show that employees have higher engagement under a manager that is more participative and democratic (toward the right side of the chart).

Employees do not expect that they will make the final decision in all cases, but if it affects their work they want to at least be given an opportunity to discuss and suggest.

Read abstract of Tannenbaum & Schmidt article on this leadership continuum 

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net