Do you use employee surveys? Do you ask at the conclusion of meetings, “Are there any questions?” Do you then have generally the same people with the same safe questions and answered? Is there ever anyone who challenges you? Please share below.
Recently I viewed a CNBC program on the rise and fall of World Com and their CEO Bernie Evers. Of course we know the subsequent story of their deception. But, have you wondered how this could occur with such talented people? The same mishap that felled King Phillip of Spain with the Spanish Armada. Back to Bernie. Not only did he famously deceived but worst yet he created fear.
In meetings Bernie made it known he only wanted good news. If one were to speak “negatively” they were either ridiculed or fired. You can imagine where all the innovative ideas went. A theocracy where the leader is deified. Managers and front-line supervisors do this also. They refuse to hire those with aberrations on their resumes and proceed to fire those who question strategies and behaviors to maintain control.
They claim to desire “Out of The Box Thinkers.” As an HR consultant and speaker I have yet to find a “leader” who actually wanted out of the box thinkers.
King Phillip II of Spain seeing an opening in England convinced over a series of years government, religious entities, 21,621 soldiers and 8066 sailors to agree to his invasion. Groupthink is powerful. Remember Weapons of Mass Destruction with Iraq under former President Bush? The Dixie Chicks were criticized along with France for not agreeing with the war which was fraudulent. In the case of King Phillip as were the others, mind you this occurs daily, power and authority crushed alternative viewpoints.
Hence the value of negative thinking. A self efficacious leader, manager, employee will embrace alternative view points. Remember there are 26 letters in the alphabets. Each letter represent plan just as effective as plan “A.”
Listen to those who say nothing in your meetings. Similar to countless pseudo leaders you may have caused an environment of fear, lack of trust that externally appears successful. You maintain the corner office and the minions maintain serfdom. But … beware.
All fame is fleeting. Moreover, leadership is doing not what is legal but what is right. A higher standard. Jim