What to Do When Your Boss is a Wuss

I invited several top leaders, authors, and bloggers to share their wisdom with Leadership Freak readers. Thanks to Karin Hurt for sharing this insightful post filled with advice on dealing with a wussy boss.

Laura invited me to observe the spectacle. I watched as she carefully articulated her research findings and presented her “no brainer” suggestions to her boss, Mark.

The conversation was the equivalent to Laura saying, “I’d like to give you 100 bucks– No strings attached. I just found a way to save the money and I’d like to give it to you.”

And Mark saying, “Well, thanks for making the effort, but I’ll have to think about that for a while, talk to some other folks and see what they think, and then get back to you.”

Mark was clearly afraid to make a decision, even if it was obviously a good one.

Perhaps you’re dealing with Mark or his doppelgänger.

5 Ways to Help Your Boss Make a Decision

#1. Ask More Questions

If you’re met with resistance, stop selling and start asking.

  • How do you think this change would impact the customer experience?
  • Have you ever tried anything like this before? How did it go?
  • What’s driving your hesitation?
  • Who else needs to be involved in such decisions?

#2. Provide a Clear Path Forward

Be clear on what your idea would take to implement: specifically, who would need to do what — by when.

#3. Make it Reversible

Got a new process? Try it with one team.

Worried about the customer experience? Do a pilot.

#4. Include Others

If Mark suggests a need to socialize the idea with others, offer to tag along “Awesome, I’d love to join a quick call to help you socialize the idea.”

#5. Don’t Give Up

Give Mark a chance to sleep on it, and give it another go.

Your turn. How do you best help a wussy boss make a decision?

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