I often run across senior executives who think they alone know the answer to their organization's problems. They usually want help in masterminding an approach to team leadership that gets their lower level people to do just what they want. Sometimes they ask for the magic bullet of management training with the mistaken hope that it alone will create all the change they want. Well, I have to confess I don't have a very successful record of helping these types of senior executives very much.
But thankfully I also run across another kind of senior executive. I find some with wide open minds. I find some whose leadership style emphasizes getting the best thinking out of the people that they lead. I find some who seek the answer from those closest to the problem and where the actual work really gets done. I find some who have become very skilled (or want to be) at asking the right questions in order to unlock the wisdom of the team.
Instead of just trying to show how smart they are or deciding every crucial issue, this second group of executives display leadership qualities that allow them to combine their own experience and knowledge with that of the people they lead.
Can you guess which group consistently gets a higher percentage of successful outcomes? Ask yourself today where you stand. Consider building your leadership style to include a wide open mind and asking the right questions.