The Pleasure of Deciding - Eric Albert - Les echos

Two managers complain about the lack of responsibility of their direct employees. Everything goes back to them for them to decide. Do they sometimes refuse to decide to dismiss their teams from the need to do it themselves?

No, they admit, adding: « But we like to decide ». So a system is set up guided by each other's emotions. Employees are anxious and avoid taking risks while managers probably find some excitement and satisfaction in it. We could consider that, ultimately, it creates a balance in which everyone finds their account.

Except that everyone complains and notices that the system is malfunctioning. When you get a taste for it, deciding who is the instrument of power has an addictive effect. All the ingredients are there. The risk that brings the thrill of danger, the uncertainty that requires weighing the various parameters and, finally, the relief provided by the moment we decide. A mix of emotions, reflections and a sense of omnipotence, the decision is to leaders what the stage is to artists. It highlights their performance and inflates their ego. The more pronounced their addiction, the more they tend to regard decisions they do not make themselves as questionable. This is sometimes true, as decision-makers have developed this skill, unlike their collaborators, who have little opportunity to cultivate it. Everyone therefore understands that it is better to « bring up », both to satisfy your boss and to protect yourself. Obviously, the risk is threefold. First, congestion, for the few decision-makers who are quickly overwhelmed and who have a queue of decisions to make that slow down projects. Then, the distance of the one who decides with the ground where the decision is applied. This entails a risk of error for the first and an implementation without appropriation and therefore poorly done. Finally, the disempowerment of other actors, who learn above all to cover themselves up and take cover behind decisions that they allow themselves not to defend. The only justification put forward being the goodwill of the one who decided.


Detoxification must go through the development of other pleasures. One of the first is turned towards the others: to make them grow. This immense satisfaction in seeing its employees empower themselves, progress and develop their talents. Putting others in a condition for success is a source of pleasure that opens up another source, that of cultivating new talents for oneself. In addition to being a coach, the time released can be used to open up to the many changes in the world, which nurtures strategic thinking and allows you to gain height. In addition, no longer being overwhelmed and constantly late allows you to preserve a personal life that is essential to recharge your batteries. Going beyond the decision-making addiction is going beyond the need to shine and dominate in order to provide another value: an essential journey for all leaders.