One of the jobs of staff is to keep their leader out of trouble: From making poor decisions, driving down the wrong road or ignoring warning signs that they need to be aware of. It is not always an easy job depending on one's leader but it is important because bad decisions by our leader carry consequences for the organization, its staff and its mission.

Some leaders (the healthy ones) both welcome and expect candid feedback and counsel. They are under no illusions that they are always right and seek the widest counsel possible. Other leaders frankly are not very open and it is a more delicate matter.

I have worked for both kinds of leaders. For those that are sensitive about counsel or feedback, one needs to think through an approach that will be most likely to be heard. All of us respond in different ways and I am sure my own staff think through how they can best address issues with me. That is not a bad thing, it is a wise thing.

It is easy for staff who see a potential train wreck coming to keep their heads down and their mouths shut but this is a shirking of responsibility - with the exception of highly narcissistic leaders for whom no feedback is productive. Whether our leader takes our advice or counsel is not our responsibility - sharing our concerns is because the health of the organization is at stake.

And if we are leaders we ought to invite such feedback and counsel. We decide how easy it is for our staff to engage us. And that is a measure of our own EQ and humility. 
  • Oct 28, 2013
  • Category: News
  • Comments: 0
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