Let me start by explaining what Inclusive Management is not. It is not consensus management. Seeking buy-in from your direct reports is smart management (if done properly), but that does not mean that you must achieve consensus from your direct reports before implementing a program or an idea. That is as disastrous as dictatorial management. Inclusive management is Love based. Even famous tough guys like Vince Lombardi (the Super Bowl trophy is named after him) understood that love was the key premise around which true success is built. While he did use fear, (I did not say he was perfect) it was not at the heart of his success. There are only two basic emotions from which all others are born. Those are “love and fear”.
When one makes decisions that are love based he/she is in alignment with God/the Universe because God is Love, not fear. The “Source” or “All That Is” knows only Love. It is analogous to the sun knowing darkness. The sun would say – what is darkness? Fear is man-made and ego driven. Getting “buy-in” from your executive team is good and explaining your decisions and requests is a must (except in hard core turnaround or battle field like situations). But getting your team involved from the get-go is even better and, of course, has nothing to do with fear. Many managers create battlefield like situations for themselves because their decisions (moves) are not strategic to begin with, but reactionary. I will have more to say about that in another article.
In a baseball game, as in business, the master strategist has a big advantage over the competition (all else being equal). We watch a game on TV and see the manager make his moves, but what we don’t see is all the input he has received from his bench coach, hitting coach and pitching coach during the course of a game, let alone prior to the start of the game. There is no reason that a business manager should not be doing the same thing. There is no need for him/her to be the loan soldier out there, as they are in many organizations, assuming the burden for all of the decisions without proper involvement and feedback from their executive team. Yes the ultimate decision is yours to make, but doing it all by your lonesome is a burn-out course of action to take.
In subsequent articles I will give you some ideas about how to best push-down and pull-up decisions from not just your executive team, but your workforce as well.