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").