“Leaders who don’t listen will eventually be surrounded by people who have nothing to say”
Have you ever been involved first hand in some kind of project where you are interacting with the end users and hearing what they are saying about your project, all the good and bad. As you are personally involved and mingling with those involved with the project, you can understand the positives about your project, as well as negative things. Also, because you are out there on the field, you see the progress being made, or the lack of it.
Now, if you have been involved in a situation like this, or if your can imagine what it would be like to be in that situation, what do you think it would be like to then, sit in on a meeting back at the home office, where the boss is making decisions about your project and never once asks you for your first hand insights?
How do you think you would feel?
What kind of confidence would you have in your leadership, knowing they are making decisions without the valuable information from your end users that you can bring to the table?
How inspiring would a leader’s future talk on teamwork be to you after experiencing what you have and the lack of teamwork exemplified?
Leaders, you need input from others if you are to make the best decisions for the benefit of the organization. If you are not regularly asking for first hand insights from those in every facet of your organization, you are setting yourself and the organization up for results that are far less than what the potential could be.
As a follow up to that point, it is not managers you need to solely rely on for all that information because sadly to say, sometimes that information is going to be biased. You need to take it one step further and go to the street level to hear what people in your Customer Service Dept. are saying, and your assembly lines, and your sales staff, and in the offices where your Administrative Staff are. Pastors, you need to meet with the attendees at your church to know what they are thinking.
Also, any input that is given to you needs to be responded to quickly and communicated back with those who gave it. Otherwise, your good deed will tend to be seen with skepticism.
On top of all this, leaders who lead without the benefit of receiving front-line input demonstrate a lack of humility that will affect the corporate culture in harmful ways that can often lead to serious consequences for the organization. Leaders, you are a role-model to others. If you are demonstrating the need for asking for input, others will imitate your example.
If your followers don’t feel like they can give you their honest input or that you even want to hear from them, then it is inevitable that bigger problems will eventually surface.
Leaders, listen to your people. Their input can help you do what you do best and are responsible for–leading well.