The best approach is to avoid making risky decisions and you can do this by:
- waiting, and waiting until it’s obvious what the right decision is
- delegate it to one of your team, it doesn’t matter who, you just want to be free of this
- leave it to your boss, tell him its too important a decision for someone at your level to make
- bring in a scapegoat to make it for you, that’s what most bosses do any way
When you have no choice but to make a decision, then make sure that you involve as many people as possible, get their suggestions and recommendations.
This has a couple of great benefits, people often like to be involved in decision making and it will make them respect you more as a boss, and it allows you to either blame one of you’re experts, or argue that this was the obvious decision, the one that any manager would have made, using the groups view as evidence.
Where ever possible get minutes of the meeting showing the decision was clearly a group effort, as this will help deflect any blame if it goes wrong.
If it’s a particularly risky decision forward the minutes to the boss as soon as the decisions is made, so that he can see the decision, and you can always argue that he had been kept in the loop, and as you hadn’t received any feedback, you assumed that he was in agreement. This allows you to imply that the decision was your bosses, even though they may not have even read the memo.
One thing to be really aware of, are those decisions which looks like simple decisions, but in fact turns out to be a nightmare. This has the death of many young executive.
The best approach here, again, is avoidance and as they look like simple decisions no one will criticise you for delegating them to your team. So it’s win win for you, you’re not to blame and no one will ask why you delegated it. It would actually be win win win, if you take into account the development of your team, but who are we kidding, this is just an exercise in ass covering.
Decisions are dangerous and can kill careers if we get them wrong, so do whatever is necessary, to make sure they have someone else’s finger prints on them.
Disclaimer: How to be a Bad Boss is meant to be Humourous and the information is for entertainment, not education. Be a Good Boss and do the opposite.