All too often leaders, who probably have significant experience, think that they have all the answers. Perhaps it is a pure ego thing, perhaps it is the result of significant previous success or perhaps they have surrounded themselves with “yes people”. It is not a good way to run any organisation.
“Our ego hinders our ability to influence more than anything else under our control.” Michael McKinney
It is not just company executives who suffer this way. How many times has the expert consultant arrived knowing what the answer is? Despite knowing somewhere down deep that every situation is different their previous successes feed their ego and it gets away from them.
Experience is a hard earned asset, deserves respect and we can all benefit from the input of people with experience. However no person is an island and the experience of the many is always more valuable than the experience of one. A good leader will bring their experience to the table, but will take into account the input from those around them.
A great leader will find people who have even more experience and wisdom than they themselves have. They will take that collective input, weigh up the data, and make decisions. They will not come to the table with their mind made up, even though they might have strong opinions.
When we decide that we have all the answers we stop learning, and possibly that is the greatest mistake of all. When we stop learning we stop being a good leader.
“Humility is the only true wisdom by which we prepare our minds for all the possible changes of life.” George Arliss
Kevin Dee is founder of Eagle (a Professional Staffing Company)
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