After the boss, the next group of people in the organisation that can step in to make decisions in place of the no-decision manager is their subordinates. I call this ‘deviated downwards delegation’ because no-decision managers follow none of the recognised rules of delegation.
First, they never talk about delegation to subordinates. It is always the subordinate who takes the initiative to make a decision, never the no-decision manager. Second, no-decision managers renounce all responsibility for the decision, unless their boss considers it to be an excellent one, in which case they personally take the credit. And third, they monitor nothing, never help a subordinate, and never even talk to subordinates about the decisions they make.
These are the fundamentals of deviated downward delegation. Subordinates can make decisions on their own, without any intervention from their no-decision boss – any decision they want, in any way they want – whenever it suits them.
Managers generally see delegation both as a way to get things done more quickly and as a motivational tool to help develop the skills of subordinates in their team. Most of the definitions of delegation in management literature explain it as a transfer of power from the boss to the subordinate. A boss gives his subordinate an act to carry out or a decision to make but keeps the accountability for the outcome, regardless of what the subordinate does or decides. No-decision managers do not follow this philosophy.
Effect on subordinates
Making a decision in place of the boss is not taught in any business school and in organisational theory does not exist, so only a few subordinates come to the conclusion that they can make decisions in place of their boss. The first condition necessary for subordinates to be in a position to realise this, is not be frustrated by their no-decision boss and never be in conflict. Given their toxic behaviour as managers, explained in these articles, this is almost mission impossible. But some do manage.