Many leaders depend highly on opinions, feedback and advice in the ranks to make tough decisions. This dependance on that close leadership circle can be a real asset in challenging times. This same network can also become a real weakness when those following you fail to share what they really think. Is this the communication problem that Joe Paterno is facing today. Where were the other assistant coaches on his staff in addressing this personnel issue?
After all, no one wants to tell the boss that you disagree with the choices he/she is making. This situation usually can happen after you have had some success which gives you more influence in that core leadership group. If these solo decisions keep happening, then the leadership may just miss important information to avoid critical mistakes. Some leaders are really not be willing to accept other opinions since they think they are the smartest one in the room. No matter what level of success, this mentality can create a dangerous process for decision making. This is especially true if the leader wants to manage from the balcony and loses touch with the real issues facing the company.
Their decisions can become out of touch with what is best for the company. This can happen when the CEO fails to get the necessary feedback and tends to trust one or two close employees or even family members who only hear one side of the issue before siding with the leader.
Here are tips to to avoid solo leadership decisions
1. Always select leaders around you that are not afraid to share their real views on critical questions.
2. On tough decisions, take longer to make them and get additional feedback from a larger group to make sure you know the potential problems.
3. If the decision involves a conflict of interest – then dismiss yourself from the decision to ensure the decision is made with the proper balance and doesn’t become an emotional decision.
4. Take time to research the key details yourself. The facts will help you to avoid common mistakes. Ask for the data to back up the opinions you get.
How can a successful leader learn to listen to people that may disagree with them on important decisions?. Iron sharpens Iron. Be quick to listen – there is wisdom in the counsel of many….
Running to win…GTR