“Discretion is the perfection of reason, and a guide to us in all the duties of life” – Sir Walter Scott
The Collins Dictionary of Business defines discretion as “the ability to decide what should be done”. More specifically, it is the power to act based on one’s own judgement. As a result, having discretion in decision making is fundamentally important in making business decisions. This concept can be applied to the workings of a junior enterprise, such as The Westminster Business Consultants (WBC).
Kakabadse and Kakabadse (2005: pp. 59-64) explain that through the emergence of network-based organisations where multiple agendas of stakeholders must be considered in decision-making, leaders are required to exercise extreme discretion when addressing issues. They postulate that discretionary leaders must determine various degrees of freedom, taking into consideration limited resources available.
By adopting a discretionary approach to leadership, individuals ascertain specific characteristics such as: being reflective, mature, and mindful of others, responsible, accountable, networked, communicative, influencing, and negotiating (2005: pp. 60). These characteristics offer intrinsic value to businesses that is sustainable and essential for the development of human capital. Hence, meanings are shared amongst members creating a shared organisational philosophy to business. Not only can having discretion in business minimise risk but, also retain team camaraderie ensuring that everyone shares their opinions.
Furthermore, being discrete means being cautious in dealing with sensitive client information that should not be passed on to third parties. This will maintain consumer confidence in the junior enterprise.
As the Marketing Manager, I must exercise extreme discretion in decision-making for my department, and ensure that the well-being of my subordinates are taken into consideration at all times.
Discretion. (2006). Collins Dictionary of Business. [online] Available from: <http://search.credoreference.com.ezproxy.westminster.ac.uk/content/entry/acbbusiness/discretion/0> [Accessed on 20 May 2014].
Kakabadse, N. K., & Kakabadse, A. P. (2005). Leadership and the art of discretion. London Business School. Business Strategy Review. Leadership. [online] Available from: <http://bsr.london.edu/lbs-article/330/index.html> [Accessed on 20 May 2014].
By: Melissa Malanda – WBC Marketing Manager