As we build our businesses, one key leadership philosophy we'll all wrestle with is the dynamic around building a centralized versus a decentralized business model. While there is a lot of worthy thinking around what model works best for what goal, from a leadership perspective it's key to understand the pros and cons of the different models in terms of getting things done.

It's most likely easier to lead a centralized model and as a result, we see many more of these models in place in the small business world and for good reason--it's faster, more aligned, and more directive toward action. Long-term, though, it's a different story after the person at the center inevitably departs.

The decentralized model is tougher to lead--it takes more time but works better long-term as long as common values are in place. It's scalable, sustainable, and more resilient, not to mention more inclusive. It's harder, though, and requires a lot more thinking about the future, in a time when spare time is non-existent in so many of our environments.

As business builders, perhaps the best strategic question we can ask here is simply--which model are you and why?

Clark Twiddy, President of Twiddy & Company, is the author of our Leadership Corner, published on our blog the third Tuesday of each month. He can be reached at