What Leaders Fail to Communicate to Their Team about Decision Making

Enlist your team without abdicating responsibility as the leader

Justin Zack
3 min readMar 10, 2022


Recently, my team was tasked with making a decision between two competing priorities — business vs technology.

The business team wants to implement a feature that would result in more revenue for the company, but the tech team needs more time to build out other infrastructure that is desperately needed in order to scale.

If we go with the business team’s demands, we would have more revenue coming in, but without the necessary infrastructure our company would risk swamping the team with complaints of poor quality and feature requests. It is a classic tradeoff between business and technology priorities.

There are many unknowns, so our leader wisely enlisted the help of the engineers to gain their input and perspective on the tradeoffs we needed to make in order to balance our goals with the constraints of our resources.

When leaders engage their teams early in the decision-making process, they create more informed teams who understand how their work contributes to organizational success.

But you wouldn’t know that based on the way engineers grumble when they get pulled into these types of conversations.

Enlist your team in a big decision and get them creatively on you side:

Let the team know why you are coming to them.

As a leader, you can avoid the irritated engineering response by clearly articulating your role in the decision making process and theirs.

Help them to see that you need their expertise and wisdom when it comes to the effort to required certain pieces of the puzzle.

You don’t have the team’s context, and the team doesn’t have your level of understanding about the business.

This is why leaders must frame the decision so that everyone has a shared understanding of the problem to be solved.

Let the team in on the business dynamics at play.



Justin Zack

Project leader. Product thinker. Write about human things. Find me at justinzack.com