Role vs. Function

It is not important who is on the top or bottom, it is important who has what role and responsibility.
Your role defines your responsibilities, your duties, your expertise, your competence.
Your function “head of”,“director”,“senior manager” etc. defines your hierarchy level. Nothing more.

Hierarchy creates a sense of parent-child relationship. The superior is the decision maker, the emplyoee, the child that follows and obeys. The employees refrain from taking over responsibility and pass on the decision-making to their superiors. Because they are told to do so, or their expectations tell them to do so. The superior is overwhelmed by the responsibility and the constant need to be involved.

If we let go of the belief in hierachy, and divide the authority among many with dedicated roles, managers are relieved of the pressure and employees empowered to be independent. Challenges, decsions-making and problems do no longer need to be escalated, unless for the sake of getting advice, but can be solved within teams authorized to take decisions in their own field of expertise and role. Anyhow, that person is the one most capable of taking a well thought-through decision, so why not trust, empower and encourage the person to do so.