It seems that everyone wants to give input - but few want responsibility for decision making. Those of us in positions where we make decisions that affect multiple people on a regular basis are often criticized for not seeking more input. Well, maybe we should be!

I have found that people (including myself) want to be listened to. They want to know that their opinions are worthwhile and can have an impact. They don't want to make the decisions - they don't want the responsibility that goes with being in a leadership position - but they do want to be heard. And they should be heard, because they have good ideas...and so many of the decisions we make directly affect them. So it is only natural that people will complain when they are not asked their opinions on decisions that affect them.

This has come home to me over the past several weeks in multiple ways. I have watched the decision makers in my organization move forward without really asking for input from those whom will be most affected. I have made decisions without seeking input from my faculty or students at times. And I have seem the hurt, fear, anger, and disappointment in these people's eyes. Oh, we try to excuse away our decision making process by saying there is too much to do...there is not enough time...out plates are too full...we can't find people to get their input...we think others can't possibly know all the intricacies of the decision to be made...and on and on.

ENOUGH EXCUSES! As leaders, it is our duty, when making decisions, to seek input from those who will be most affected. It is our duty to involve followers in the decision-making process, finding out more information that might be needed. It is our duty to be good stewards of the organization and its resources, seeking out knowledge from others. It is our duty to set the example of what it means to be a learning and collaborative organization. So let's get busy seeking input - from lots of people - but especially from those who are most affected by decisions we are trying to make.