When you are a leader, you have to rely on the information provided by others to make good decisions for your organization. You simply cannot be in every position, every day to get a personal understanding of what is working well and what needs improvement.
Unfortunately, leaders may create an environment in which they will not hear the truth or get the information they need. This bubble often created by the position can prevent leaders from hearing bad with the good and to have their own mental constructs challenged.
A recent article in the Harvard Business Review by Hal Gregersen talked about this phenomenon and the different approaches creative CEOs take to not fall in this trap.
Here are some points I found interesting:
- Ask the right questions and put yourself in the right situations to go beyond what you think you know
- Innovation comes from when we find out what we thought to be true, is not. Success doesn’t mean you’re right all of the time. Reflect on times when you made the wrong choice or a bad decision and learn from it
- When we are uncomfortable, we are alert. Get out of your comfort zone and certainly out of your head office/ivory tower environment
- Don’t tell; ask questions. Leaders must transmit information and they must also receive. Truly listen to others before you crystallize the story in your mind
Check out the full article, including 10 indicator questions, here.
Find your own ways to get out of the bubble. Be wrong. Be uncomfortable. Be quiet.