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Are Leaders Ever Told The Truth?

Last month we wrote about Tony Cicutto's decision to restructure within NAB. That decision, it appears, was based upon information that was available to him, - filtered information.

We've all heard or read the old joke which starts off with the workers saying "this idea / plan is a crock of SH-T" and ends up with the Vice President's saying to the President that "it's great and it has very powerful effects".

This old adage now has solid research to back it up. Recently the Center of Excellence in Leadership and Learning released research findings which show, that the more senior you are in an organisation the more probable it will be that those who surround you give you only the good news. According to the research board members, CEO's, senior executives and politicians are at particular risk of being told what they want to hear, or at least what others believe they want to hear.

Then there are those helpful souls who are on missions to ingratiate themselves, who will at no extra expense, reinterpret information to provide a spin benefiting the bearer of the message. Sure people disagree with their leaders, take a moment to reflect how often and how firmly.

As executives and leaders it is critical that we are able to reach out into our organisations and get direct and unfiltered responses. Clarity and accuracy of communications and intent is "mission critical". It helps deliver:

b1.gif (814 bytes) Understanding;
b1.gif (814 bytes) Motivation;
b1.gif (814 bytes) Correct action, and
b1.gif (814 bytes) Results.

Next time you want to understand your people's reaction to an issue, ask them, not just via the chain of command. Direct connection with your people is now available through technology. Survey Tools are now readily available in the market allowing you to tap into what your staff are thinking of an issue almost instantly. Gone are those days of laborious, long and expensive annual surveys. Email based confidential surveys return valuable and statistically sound information.

We pay a lot of attention to communicating messages downward but most organisations struggle to effectively listen to unfiltered messages coming from the staff.

There is now no excuse for relying on information so filtered that it has changed from "SH-T" to "a powerful idea that can make us grow".

How's Your Energy?

You will recall that in January and February we started with "Sustain the Energy of January Throughout the Whole Year". Sally Flynn from StillMotion advised to 'TURN UP' (hope you have been practicing), followed by 'LET GO'.

The next step is:

Step Three – Be Open

No matter how long you've been doing what you do and no matter how fabulous your reputation, there's always something new to learn … about your business and yourself. Cultivate careful listening. Listen to the words and also listen to what's happening between the words magic opportunities don't always come gift
wrapped. We can be judgemental of youth or inexperience or personality difference and let gems pass us by. It can be easy to fall into believing that the ideas and opinions we hold so dear are "the truth". That limits our possibilities. Be open to change, a new way of seeing.

We can only do the job of waking up. Friends, colleagues and family might try desperately to get us moving and we can site a million reasons to put it off but ultimately it's your life that's unfolding.

What Next?

If you are interested in more information please give us a call on +61 412 026 909 and ask to speak to one of our consultants. 

Alternatively e-mail us at info@emdgroup.com.au or use the form on our Contact Us page.

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