If not, you are in trouble.
You are not hearing what you need to hear from them, only what they think you want to hear. Don’t think for a moment that because you are the boss you know what’s going on in your organization. You only know what is really happening to the extent that your folks tell you what’s happening. And please don’t be tempted to think that this means you have some “bad apples” working for you.
Your followers have learned from you not to disagree, challenge, or bring you bad news. That’s right, it’s probably you. Let me suggest the two biggest things you are doing to create this behavior in your folks:
- Your people never see you say no. You never disagree or challenge the people you work for, so your people never learn from you how to do this with purpose. You send the very clear message that “no” is not acceptable around here.
- People that have told you no are gone. You have systematically removed from your inner circle everyone that disagreed or challenged your policies and decisions. But that’s ok, because everyone knows they were not team players, or were disloyal or disrespectful. This is the rhetoric of conformity and exclusion.
The paradox here is you will think that lack of dissent is a good thing, a sign that you are providing stellar leadership. And it feels so good to be such a good leader.
Wake up. You are deep in self-deception. If no one ever comes to you with bad news, that’s bad news, and you cannot correct it with wishful thinking, a new policy or a motivational speech.
Acknowledge the gap between where you are and where you need to be, and live with the creative tension. Accept responsibility to change how you think about this situation, and then change your behavior.