“I know more than you do.” Have you been in an executive committee meeting where there was an air (individually or the whole group) of superiority? In other words, where a belief existed that this group knew better/more than the folks not in the room?
I often hear leaders espouse these words as they make the decisions that impact others. And then they are confused (hence talking with me) when the ‘others’ aren’t bought in to the change, or readily following along the path decided upon. The ‘others’ aren’t trusting the people, process, or performance of this decision.
Leaders aren’t suddenly smarter or wiser than when they were followers. Many years ago I worked for United Parcel Service, where you could not be in a management role until you had worked in the delivery process. At the time, being young and ‘knowing everything’, this made no sense to me. It frustrated me. I knew better than UPS. What a learning curve I had on that one!
The title of leader doesn’t remove my requirement for self-evaluation and growth, nor does it mean I no longer follow. In fact, locate an exceptional leader and ask who they follow. They will have an immediate answer, because mentorship doesn’t stop unless growth does.
Leadership comes with an additional responsibility to inform, educate, and learn. In other words, leadership requires others. As a leader, your communication strategy is paramount to your success, yet I rarely hear anyone addressing their strategy to keep others informed. I encourage you to consider what your current strategy is, maybe one of these:
· Tell them what they need to know when they need to know it;
· Hold meetings on a scheduled basis and inform according to this schedule;
· Use email or other written posts to share new information.
If so, what could be a more strategic approach to your communication? What would happen if you talked about industry changes on a regular basis, then talked about the firm, and that there will (or may) be adjustments or alterations to firm strategies and costs as a result? What if you invited sessions with your teams and staff that had agendas written by them?
In case you haven’t already guessed it, I’m encouraging you to communicate to build trust. To develop rapport and relationship through authentic and strategic communication. We can do this. And everyone benefits.