Sometimes as leaders, we think that it would be much easier if everyone just did what they were told without asking questions or disagreeing with us.

But then I remember that the best leaders don’t surround themselves with yes-men (or yes-women.  For the purpose of this post, please assume that yes-men is a gender neutral term), they effectively utilise people who have their own opinions, their own unique perspectives and their own techniques for getting great work done.

If you want to be a better leader who gets better results, you don’t want yes-men.

You want people around you who:

  • Sensibly debate your decisions to ensure that all relevant factors are considered and the best path is chosen.
  • Have the initiative to do things their way, not just copy how you do it.
  • Bring their talent and ideas to the team, not rely on you for everything.
  • Display their loyalty, not by kowtowing to you, but by doing their best work for you.
  • Have different backgrounds, beliefs, perspectives and experiences that better allow your organisation to cater to the needs of those you’re trying to influence or sell to.
  • Think, then agree, not agree without thinking.
  • Have areas of expertise that are different to yours and that make up for your own shortcomings.

Insecure leaders feel as though they need yes-men around them to reassure them that they are doing OK.

Great leaders know that they don’t have all of the answers themselves and need a diverse range of people around them if they are to take their team to the next level of success.

If you’re a leader, are you surrounded by yes-men?

If you’re not a leader, are you a yes-man?

Previous post – The Stubborn Caterpillar – A Story About the Call to Action

Next post – If a Tree Falls in the Forest