So what kind of leader are you? Innovative, visionary, traditional, consultative, open minded? What about brave? I think the massive changes and uncertainty that we have had over the past 18months have tested many leaders. Some have held true to their values, whilst others let fear get the better of them.
I was talking to a middle level manager about her executive leadership team this week. We had a very interesting discussion about their approach to leading, as she described their behaviour and the way they made decisions as very old school. Very much top down with meetings behind closed doors and making decisions at the top, without much regard or intelligence from other areas of the business.
When I asked her about what will happen to their business moving forward, she said they were about to roll out a global program that wouldn’t work. They forgot a key ingredient, they did not check with people across the organisation to see if their strategy would work or not. This new initiative (and the millions of dollars being invested into it) will most likely fail, or struggle along without reaching the potential that could have been achieved. Why? Because the executive leaders were not brave enough to seek feedback from their people.
So what stops leaders from being brave? Usually, it’s because they believe that they know everything so well that they can make the ‘important’ decisions on their own. Wow, what a shallow viewpoint. Common sense would tell us that the more input we have from people that need to operationalise these ideas, before we commit to them would be a smart move. Unfortunately some leaders fear what will happen if they get feedback that may show an alternative to the great strategic vision that they created at the executive level.
So what are you doing to be a brave leader? Are you asking for people’s honest opinion on a number of your business initiatives? Do you ask people to score your ability to communicate and provide them with leadership? If not, why not?
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