Two of the greatest challenges a President or CEO must overcome are isolation and lack of unfiltered feedback. They often lack professional colleagues to engage in open, constructive dialogue. Also missing is the objective feedback needed to understand the impact of one’s words and actions on their organization.
By analogy, it is like being perched at the top of a large tree in a forest. The President or CEO can easily see into the distance, but it is almost impossible to see the ground beneath them.
What can senior leaders do? Identify and engage trusted colleagues with whom you can discuss issues and seek objective feedback. These individuals may be found on your Board, in other parts of your company, or a peer advisory group.
It is also important to establish channels of communication throughout your organization to ensure you are hearing “what is really going on” instead of “what people think you want to hear.” This requires building a culture of trust and transparency and living the culture you create.
Be intentional about it…
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