Executive teams should trust everyone on the team, leaders included. However, evidence shows that most managers are afraid or tend to ignore the feedback, specifically feedback they don’t like, which creates an atmosphere of distrust and lack of delegation.
So, if leaders are not going to delegate or trust their executive team, why do they have them? I am sure leaders will answer by saying: I need hands to execute. Right, but you need their head as well.
Being a leader of an organization can be a lonely place, people respect you more and fear you even more. Therefore the executive team should be at the level where leaders can get a reality check and listen to their experts.
I have seen it several times where the leader of the organization asks for feedback and once they have it, they tend to “kill” the messenger(s), instead of listening to the feedback, which will create a vicious cycle in the future where you will hear only what you want to hear and not what you need to hear. It’s like the book “The Emperor’s New Clothes”, no one wanted to tell the emperor he was naked and no one wants to tell the leader he might be wrong.
This challenge has several solutions. One is open, honest and candid feedback on a regular basis. If leaders can’t tolerate the feedback, I suggest seeking professional help from a business coach who will guide them to see their strengths, flows and areas of improvement.
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