The Wise And Unwise Leader

A good executive simply is not a dictator. He listens to his employees. When the top people don’t communicate with those under them, then of course they don’t understand them or their problems. Leaders at any level should listen to those under them. Leaders are responsible to make the final decision, but being a leader does not mean that you have all the ideas and do all the thinking and all the consulting just within yourself

A good executive will listen to others

A good secretary knows more about her boss’ business than he does–and she should. He shouldn’t have to be involved with every little thing, but someone needs to be. A good boss understands that his secretary is more familiar with the extent of the work and the urgency of it, and he will respect that and usually take his secretary’s suggestions.

When it comes to plans and goals and motivation and other overall aspects of the work, the leaders are supposed to be good or they shouldn’t be the leaders. But when it comes to practical matters, leaders ought to listen to their helpers, because their helpers probably know more about it than they do. A good leader will listen to his workers’ suggestions, discuss, agree with them on a course of action, and then leave them alone to carry out the work, just checking now and then to see that they are producing and don’t make any serious mistakes.

That’s really the job of the executive–to keep things moving. He should let his people recommend the work, initiate the work, and by all means carry out the work.

Any smart executive is going to pump people power. He is not going to try to be the pump, or the pump handle, or the water, or the bucket. He’s merely going to be the guiding hand that takes hold of the handle and pumps. All he does is keep the pump in motion. A good leader will try to keep everybody happy, because everybody has a right to be happy and to do the work he likes to do and wants to do if he’s qualified.

If you’re going to be an effective team, every member must work together with all the other members–not just one, not just a few, not even the majority, but all. You must learn to work together, listen to each other, counsel together, agree together, decide together, and then work it out together. Everyone has his job, everyone is needed, and all must work together.

By Arunava Das

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