Democracy is a bad leadership style (Guest commentary)

The UN demonstrates why consensus building isn’t effective
By Mark Stevens
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 05/21/2006

There is no such thing as a consensus decision. It is an oxymoron; a thinly veiled agreement not to make a decision. It is a pact that everyone will agree to do the wrong thing knowing that this is more socially acceptable than a strong and decisive leader standing up and declaring what she believes is the right direction to take.

In consensus-based companies, a strong leader acting unilaterally may be perceived as imperious, arrogant and insensitive. And to the consensus worshippers, that doesn’t seem democratic.

But corporate decision-making isn’t supposed to be a town hall meeting. Great leadership comes when a strong person assesses the facts and decides what to do and how to do it. Consensus occurs when the opportunistic and individualistic drive that makes companies succeed is replaced by a politically correct culture. And I can say with absolute conviction that this culture leads to certain decline and ultimate death.