The managerial decision making process differs from leadership decision making in two distinct ways:
While leaders are setting the direction of the organization, they are very much organized to the future. Where do we want the organization to be in 5, 10, 20 years time? They consider possibilities and probabilities and make predictions about potential change in the marketplace and may use a variety of styles to make their decisions.
Managers deal with what is happening in the here and now. They are paid to bring some kind of order to the chaos. Decision making in management situations is used to establish control and stability. This allows the organization to move from where it is now into the future that the leaders are predicting.
Really good managers have the ability to move easily from a managerial role to leadership one and back again depending on the context they find themselves in. Which indicates that they have the ability to make their own decisions.
So in effect, managers are operating at the interface between the ideal future of the leaders and where the organization is actually at in the present. When you consider decision making in management in this way, it alters your perception and approach to the whole managerial decision making process.
Whether you are considering consumer behavior, problem solving, or thinking about the economics of a situation, no longer is it simply a fire fighting exercise.
The emphasis moves away from simply avoiding past problems to a future orientation, an orientation around what works to get you where you want to go.