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Discretion: The freedom to act or make judgements on one’s own.  It is said to be the difference between a Leader and a Manager (ie. Leaders know when to use their discretion).

This is a strong Lover King quality.  The ability to discern a good idea from a bad idea and support the good ones.  It is the use of judgement to further what is valuable, recognizing we are not machines and people matter.  The Mentor also uses discretion.  From his perspective of a solid base in his relationship with self and others he can see what the universe (read office culture) needs and support elements that will lead to the greater good. (Note: I say he and it refers tpo the masculine in all of us).

The alternative to discretion is to count on rules, contracts, or legislation.  These tools are designed to take the human qualities out of an interaction and reduce it to a mechanistic approach.

There are times when an impersonal approach is well placed.  For example when selecting a winner from a set of proposals.  This is where the pursuit of excellence reigns the day as opposed to the generation of new or personal work.

There is a process for submitting the proposal, and acceptance or rejection is based on established criteria given in a designated form.  It’s not personal, it’s business.  The Hero just keeps pitching, learning the lay of the land and requirements for success, until one of his ideas hits.  The Leader is free to make a decision based on the merit of the proposal and not on the cost to a relationship.  Having a process and sticking to it works in this case.

However, when the decision involves a creative worker it is important not to take an impersonal approach.  The creative ability requires an understanding that the individual is of intrinsic value.  When treated like a machine the creative worker feels victimized or devalued.  It is difficult to do their best work from this position.

This is certainly not the best intention of the Lover King.  This is when the use of discretion comes in.  The Lover King’s role is to create an environment of safety and appreciation that supports the creative person in his or her work.

Understanding this dynamic allows the Leader to use discretion in a way that ensures the creative ability of workers is preserved over the sanctity of a rule.  The intention of the contract clause or the rule can often be kept intact while the application is used judiciously.

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