Sometimes you have to choose between two or more bad options. Often the perfect choice is a luxury that you can’t afford.
The question is how you respond to this choice, and how you communicate it to your team. I believe you have two options:
- You can act purely as a messenger, or
- You can take responsibility and ownership of the decision, and explain to your team enough of the background to the decision that they understand and accept it.
It’s easy to go with option 1 – to throw up your hands and say “well it wasn’t my decision” – it’s always easier to be a victim – but option 1 is poisonous because it builds in your team an inherent distrust of management and a dissolves belief in your product strategy. And in the long run, if you always play ‘the messenger’, your team won’t only lose faith in your company, they’ll lose faith in you.
Option 2 is hard… but get it right, and it’s art. And sooner or later the messenger gets shot anyway.