The role of leadership dictates that the responsibility for all final decisions lies with the one in charge.
However, that does not mean that all solutions must also be generated by the leader. Rather it is usually the function of the true leader to encourage those within the group to provide alternative solutions to issues being faced based on their respective individual subject matter expertise.
By reviewing the different solutions proposed, the leader can then make the appropriate decision on the proper course of action.
If the leadership decision making process is to be dependent on the opinions and recommendations of others, then the single most critical aspect of the leader-to-others relationship must be - trust.
The leadership must establish an environment of trust that is based on each individual's single-minded focus on the success of the organization or the project or mission. Without this unified focus on the same goal, the true motivation for any opinion or recommendation from anyone will always require scrutiny. Without the trust, all recommendations will need to be weighed against each individual's personal goals and standards.
Of what use is any information, if the source of the information cannot be trusted explicitly?
When, like Capt. Picard, the leadership is successful in building trust based relationships, it becomes much easier for the leadership to decide in favor of recommended solutions, even if it means going against personal intuition in the face of certain failure or disaster.
Capt. Picard's blind faith and trust in Data always placing the safety of the crew and ship above all made it quite easy for Capt. Picard to follow Data's conclusion in dropping the shields to save the ship.
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