Why Leaders Need Feedback

The thing about great leaders is that they are also great followers.

One of the biggest struggles faced by leaders is how hard it is to get constructive, positive feedback. Unsolicited, constructive feedback is something leaders desperately seek and need.

Sure you can approach people to ask them directly for an evaluation of things like a decision you’ve made, but in those cases you run the risk that they may simply tell you what they think you want to hear. 

Unfortunately, this kind of feedback simply isn’t helpful in determining whether you’re on the right track as a leader.

To illustrate this, I’d like to share a personal example of a time within my own organization where I was unable to get any feedback. Years ago someone mentioned to me the idea of using two monitors on a desk instead of one. While this is common today it certainly wasn’t at the time because monitors often cost between $600 and $700 a piece.

“Opening the lines of communication between leaders and followers is essential.”

Nevertheless, we went and bought about eight monitors, put them up, and waited to see what everyone thought.

The waiting went on for what seemed like an indefinite amount of time and it wasn’t until a couple of months later that I was able to get enough feedback to validate the decision.

At this point, we were sitting with a budget of about $30,000 lined up to fund getting multiple monitors for the rest of the organization but were set back by three months before we were able to proceed simply because people were so unwilling to respond.

Opening the lines of communication between leaders and followers is as essential as realizing that great leaders are great followers. No matter where you are, you ought to look for ways of providing feedback to the people making decisions. 

If you want more information or have any questions, feel free to give us a call or send us an email. We look forward to hearing from you.