Leadership is both an inside and outside game. In this series of blogposts, I will share leadership wisdom I have gathered and found useful in my own leadership development and what I have observed in my work with executive leaders. As the Tangle DoctorTM, it is my opinion that leaders who create productive, accountable cultures are better able to minimize Organizational TanglesTM –unproductive working relationships, snarled lines of communication, and fuzzy lines of authority-- demonstrate the leadership qualities I will share in a series of blogposts.
Are you able to receive feedback?
The first tip is this. Leaders who create tangles are unable to receive feedback. There are a variety of reasons for this. The first is arrogance and occurs in a leader who thinks that he/she already knows everything. Arrogant leaders push others away. Those brave enough to receive feedback are yelled at, berated, or ignored. A second reason is oversensitivity. I have met some leaders who just don’t want to be criticized at all. It becomes clear that any well-intentioned feedback is unwelcome. A third reason is a lack of respect for others in less senior positions.
No matter what the reason, those unwilling to receive feedback deny themselves valuable information. Leaders who recognize that they don’t have all the answers give others a voice and therefore receive otherwise unavailable information.
Give others a voice, not a vote
There is an important distinction here. Just because you are a leader who is willing to receive feedback does not mean that everyone receives a vote. The most effective leaders I know give others a voice and are clear when they are and are not giving others a vote.