Leadership … Continued Discussion 1/28/09

In this post I would like to surface an additional quote from the previously quoted Scott Geller, who is a professor at Virginia Tech. In this quote Mr. Geller states that, “authentic leaders are … always open to corrective feedback, and they demonstrate self-discipline to continuously improve.”

Although I have known people in leadership ranks who truly feel they have all of the answers and do not need to either grow or seek the counsel of others, these have been few and far between for me. And every person I would call leader has been an exact opposite of the person just described. Natural leaders seem to understand that they may make ultimate decisions, but that it takes the input of others to evolve best decisions. They also understand that they can and will at some time utilize poor judgment and make mistakes, for which reason they need to continuously expand their knowledge, capabilities and resources … including input-providers. And, that they need to be receptive to corrective feedback.

This last point is especially difficult for most of us, myself included, but it is essential that those who follow a leader feel comfortable providing that level of guidance and constructive feedback, and that the leader be able to embrace the guidance given.

My sense of this is that leaders have to set the example when it comes to corrective feedback. Leaders need to demonstrate that despite their title they need the input of others in order to excel at what they do … even if that input supports a different view or even points to errors made. A leader needs to create a workplace/decision-making environment in which everyone feels completely at ease in putting their thinking into the mix, no matter how different. It is only when that environment of openness is the norm that a leader truly has the opportunity to excel as a leader.

Author Cross-references:

Scott Geller: Also see posts 12/12/08, 2/18/09

Key Word Cross-references:

Authentic/Believable/Genuine: Also see posts 1/2/09, 2/18/08, 2/25/09, 3/16/09, 10/26/09, 12/5/09, 1/4/10, 2/24/10, 5/26/10

Growth: Also see post 9/15/09

Workplace Environment: Also see posts 12/12/08, 2/6/09, 2/19/09, 7/7/09, 8/3/09, 9/9/09, 1/6/10, 4/19/10



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