Q: I feel that my senior team is not open with me about their views in the way I make decisions in the company. Although we have frequent meetings to discuss business-related issues, many things that happened lately surprised me. Is it normal for people to keep things away from their bosses? Or is this happening to me only?
A: You are not alone in this. Being lonely at the top is the price many top executives have to pay. In fact, as your span of authority and responsibility grows, it will be difficult to get unfiltered and unbiased information from your subordinates. There is either fear, discomfort, wanting approval and many other reasons that lead to this situation. You need to find out. Perhaps you should consider having an executive coach to work with you. He will give you all the feedback you need, without fear or favour.
- Do you often discover your people have been telling you “half-truths” rather than the real thing?
- How often do you have this intuitive feeling that many of them are saying things to please you?
- How often do you stumble upon some surprising news that comes from remote sources than from your top people?
How can you make your people be truthful to you?