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Who's In Charge? Control Freaks Decision Making Incompetence Conflict

My manager gave me some very important responsibilities on a major project. I have had to meet with managers all over the company, and they are now coming to me for decisions, and thatís the problem. I have no decision-making power. My manager is calling all of the shots, undoing things that I have done, and saying that all decisions are his. How am I supposed to work on this project?

Your manager tossed some very important responsibilities your way, but also tossed you into a classical no-win morass. When you do not make decisions, you look weak and rather useless to the managers. At the same time, if you do take action, you incur the wrath of your own manager.

Your managerís delegation skills are questionable to say the least. He actually has delegated neither responsibility nor authority to you. It actually sounds like your role in this project is to gather data, test the waters, and then provide your manager with information on the managerís comments, needs, and reactions. At that point, he makes the decisions.

One option is for you to continue in your present role by viewing yourself as a facilitator and conduit, and by letting others know where the decision-making actually rests. If you are not comfortable with such a role, a second option is to meet with your manager and let him know what you would like to do. He sounds like a very controlling individual, but if you can let him see the advantages of providing you with more authority, perhaps he will turn some of the controls over to you.

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