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How empowered do you feel to make decisions affecting your team?


SmartPulse — our weekly nonscientific reader poll in SmartBrief on Leadership — tracks feedback from more than 210,000 business leaders. We run the poll question each week in our e-newsletter.

How empowered do you feel to make decisions affecting your team?

  • Very — I’m in complete control: 21%
  • Mostly — I make all but a few key decisions: 39%
  • Not very — my leaders limit the decisions I can make: 26%
  • Not at all — I barely get to decide anything: 15%

A lack of power. Seems like a lot (41%) of you have little decision making power. That has to be frustrating – both for you and for your leaders. Most leaders I know want their team members to be empowered and to take initiative. If you feel like you can’t make decisions, ask yourself if those are self-limiting beliefs. Many of your leaders want you to take initiative. Talk with them about decision parameters where you can make the call within a certain set of boundaries. They’ll be happy to make fewer decisions to let you lead the charge. If you simply assume you can’t make decisions without confirming that fact, both you and your boss might be unnecessarily frustrated.

Mike Figliuolo is managing director of thoughtLEADERS. Before launching his own company, he worked at McKinsey & Co., Capital One and Scotts Miracle-Gro. He is a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. He’s the author of three leadership books: “One Piece of Paper,” “Lead Inside the Box” and “The Elegant Pitch.”