Creative Leadership

Leaders: Are You Listening to Good Advice?

A study published in the journal:   “Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes,” indicates that the more powerful the executive, the less likely he or she is to take advice from co-workers.  You may know it as the “executive bubble” where leaders get so insulated they cut themselves off from outside advice.  The study pinpoints the reason to the fact that the more powerful an individual, the more inflated their sense of importance.  In other words, the less they “think” they need other’s advice.  The most interesting aspect of the report found that powerful decision makers who discounted the advice of others were less accurate in their final judgements than if they had taken other’s advice.

So the truth is, when you shut off input from others, it doesn’t mean you’re important, it just means you’re getting smaller and smaller….

Have you had situations where leaders refused advice and suffered the consequences?

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  1. I have a boss who is not open to respectful discussions, nor open to listen to reason on decisions that she makes before I’m asked to carry them out. When I have carried out what is asked of me, the results are what I said they’d be; not in the best interest of our organization’s reputation. On other requests made by my boss that I’ve managed to avoid carrying out for the same reason, I’ve seen the disastrous results played out in someone else’s field and I’m relieved it wasn’t us this time. I’m not an insubordinate employee by any means. I’m looking out for the best interest of my boss, our organization and how it’s viewed, guests and employees to the best of my “small world of influence” ability. My boss is completely disconnected and living in an embellished bubble. It’s unanimous- our boss is inaccurate in her judgments; no one can influence her emotionally based decisions except her family. It’s an unbelievable thing to witness each time it happens without my mouth hanging open in wonder. I need to be a less conspicuous spectator I know…
    An untouchable boss leads no one but themselves, by themselves, for themselves.

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