To delegate decision-making is a powerful way to build trust and grow emerging leaders. Susan Scott’s “decision tree” model* is a perfect way to begin the conversation.

There are four levels of decision: leaf, branch, trunk and root. Four stages of delegated trust in proportion to the degree of potential harm or good to the company as action is taken.

Leaf decisions: Make the decision. Act on it. Do not report the action you took.

Branch decisions: Make the decision. Act on it. Report the action you took. Daily, weekly, monthly.

Trunk decisions: Make the decision. Discuss your decision before you act on it.

Root decisions: Discuss and make the decision jointly, with input from many people. These are the decisions that, if poorly made and implemented, could cause major harm to the company.

*From the book Fierce Conversations: Achieving Success in Work and Life, One Conversation at a Time by Susan Scott.

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