Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Last-Heard-Itis

I have observed a number of organizational leaders over the years who were guilty of reacting, and making decisions, in response to “the last person heard.” 

It is a painful situation to feel like 
you know what you’re supposed to be doing, 
     you understand the direction of the organization, 
          you have a good feel for “how things need to be done,” 
               you're making organizational progress at a brisk clip, 
only to have a curve ball thrown at you as a result of someone getting in the ear of a boss who succumbs to “the last person heard.”

And, every organization I’ve worked in had a few of those folks who refrained from making their positions known, from engaging in the dialogue/debate, but who always seemed to seek the boss out in private to try to influence (or reverse) decisions.  A very common ploy of said characters is that they portend to be speaking on behalf of a whole group of others. 


Leaders should always listen.  But, leaders should be very cautious of folks who operate in such clandestine fashion.

Arguments/positions, if worthy, should be able to stand the rigor of open discourse.  If they can't, the boss shouldn't be giving them credence (even if they do come from "the last person heard").

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