We all know the leaders that we look up to and that inspire us the most have one undeniable quality and that is that they insist they are always right.
Now I know what you are thinking, that there is value in listening to others and their input. That the best way to make an informed and correct decision is to listen to those around you who have different skills and knowledge that may help you see a different viewpoint or teach you something you didn’t know. However, you, my friend, are wrong. It takes a leader to be able to completely ignore those around them who might have an insight that they don’t have to ensure that a decision or direction is correct. We all know there are only two ways to do something, your way and the wrong way and the sooner everyone else sees this the better.
You might also be thinking about how it is easier to get “buy in” and support for change if a leader takes a step back before giving their opinion. That this allows for healthy debate and by holding back, a leader is allowing for others to draw their own conclusions about change that might be much needed. Again, you would be wrong. A leader knows that to get support for a change, they need to continue to drop knowledge bombs on anyone who stands in their way without pausing so everyone knows how right they are through the constant barrage of information. This cuts down on time spent wasted letting others voice opinions and allows you to continue to be right.
"Being a good leader is all about listening to others and their feedback, allowing for healthy discussion and debate, and explaining the reasoning behind a decision."
Lastly, you are probably sitting there thinking that a leader who is respected never must insist that they are correct because a good leader always explains the “why” behind a decision. This allows for everyone to hear the thought process that went into the decision and allows for discussion based on that “why”. You are three for three on the wrong scale because a leader knows that there is no need to explain the “why” behind anything because you, after all, are always right. Explaining the “why” undermines you as a leader because at the end of the day, you are right and everyone should respect that.
Ok, so if you have been reading up to this point and haven’t picked up on the enormous amount of sarcasm in this post then I am going to ask that you read this again and understand that everything that I told you was good, is actually the worst thing you can do as a leader.
Being a good leader is all about listening to others and their feedback, allowing for healthy discussion and debate, and explaining the reasoning behind a decision. It is also about understanding that you are not always right and that this is completely normal. So take the time to listen and to ask for feedback before making a decision. It is not always about being the one who is right but it is always about doing what you can to do the right thing.
We thought of the top 10 things you can do to be the most hated and least effective leader possible. It's our "anti how-to guide". Today's lesson on being right is just one topic on our list. Interested to learn more? Subscribe to The Growth Blog and you'll receive your free copy of The Pocket Guide: How To Be The Worst Leader Ever.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jess Schauble completed her undergraduate degree from High Point University and continued her education to obtain her Master's Degree in Student Affairs from Ball State University.
Jess currently works at Phi Kappa Tau Fraternity as the Associate Director of Education and Wellness. She is also a national volunteer with Sigma Sigma Sorority, serving as the Prevention Officer and facilitator for different educational programs.
Jess is passionate about leadership development and inspiring others to be the best versions of themselves. You can reach her via email at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions that you may have.