Leadership: Majority Rules or Concensus

In practicing the ideas of William Glasser's Lead Management, there are some questions that need to be answered.

In many companies, it is important to determine the vision, mission and values of the agency. I have always understood that the vision is determined by the leader. It is the leader who decides where the company or organization is going. The mission and values are determined by as many representatives of the organziation as possible, including stakeholders and clientele.

There are some who believe the vision itself should be agreed upon in a consensus-building exercise. The organization doesn't move forward until everyone is agreed on the direction it's going. There is great value in reaching consensus but at what cost? How long is a group willing to discuss, rehash and discuss again until consensus is reached? And what if it never happens? There are hung juries, after all.

This is one time when I don't have an opinion of what's right or wrong. I really don't know the answer to this challenge. Is there anyone out there who operates everything based on consensus? How long does it take? Is the time worth it? Are there keys to moving more quickly toward consensus? What are the benefits of using majority rules instead?

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